These days the business environment is going through very rapid changes, competition is growing denser and more relentless with each passing second. What that effectively means is that we should do everything to forget the old tale about the rabbit and the turtle, and stop believing that hard work and a slow pace will eventually lead us to victory, as soon as possible. The truth is that your home business faces only two possible outcomes – to grow, and grow as fast as possible, or to run the risk of quickly being consumed by the competition. Let us see what you can do to avoid the latter situation.
Research, Research, ResearchIt goes without saying that the large majority of home-based businesses operates on a fairly small budget, and the smaller your budget is, the lesser the number of failed attempts at scaling your business you can afford. The best way to create a massive safety net that will prevent an undesirable outcome is to conduct a very thorough market research that will cover everything, from available keywords to current customers’ desires and your competition’s practices. Depending on what you want to find, the sources where you gather your info will vary, but data from government sources and trade publications are a great place to start.
Penetrate The Market With A Singular ProductTrying to successfully launch too many different products or services at once can stretch your resources too thin, and eventually lead your business into disaster. Instead, you should take notes from the smartphone industry, where manufacturers like Samsung have first successfully penetrated the market with a few flagship products and then used the existing momentum and the familiar name to fill other market segments. Just make sure that you do have a good follow up.
Expand Your Operations With Compatible Products & ServicesUsing the momentum you have made with one successful product, however, does not have to be limited only to pushing other similar alternatives. The more you do to enrich your portfolio with compatible products and services, the faster you will be able to rise above providing goods to providing solutions to the entirety of your customers’ problems. For example, if you are selling home-made furniture, why not consider expanding your operations to repairs, transportation, and move-ins?
Develop Your Marketing NetworkOne of the biggest problems home-based business face while trying to grow are very limited marketing resources. Fortunately, network marketing (multi-level marketing) can alleviate this problem to a great extent, and allow you to develop a very efficient marketing network based on affiliates’ individual efforts and supported by the percentage of every sale you make as a result of their actions. Just look up some general network marketing tips, establish a core affiliate base and continue expanding from there on.
Increase Sales To Existing CustomersOf course, no matter how your marketing network may be efficient, your business will have a very hard time surviving if you fail to retain existing customers, and motivate them to spend more. That is why you should pay the same level of attention to customer loyalty programs and retention that you would otherwise pay to expansion. Loyalty programs, the gamification of customers’ purchases, newsletters, an exceptional customer service and other similar means will help you reactivate dormant customers, and motivate the ones who are already making purchases to spend even more.
Utilize Your Web Presence To The Highest Possible DegreeWhen it comes to marketing, The Internet has become a great equalizer that allows small businesses to appeal to the same amount of people as large corporations. Use that advantage as much as you can. For starters, you should create a website where you will post interesting and useful content that will attract people who are not necessarily aware of your brand, and use all relevant social media to expand its follower base. Contests, giveaways and other various incentives will make sure that your content is regularly shared and that you have a stable influx of new followers. Once you get the handle of these activities, you can move on to other marketing approaches, like SEO and social media advertisement programs.
Target New MarketsHaving a strong web presence means that you are in a position to explore new markets. Use that advantage to upgrade your website with an e-commerce store and start shipping your products out of local boundaries, and why not, maybe even abroad. Expanding the scope of your actions will also open you doors to turn your business into a franchise or start a collaboration with local suppliers and similar businesses which, in turn, can lead to very interesting merger opportunities.
Hire More PeopleIf you want to grow your business and increase customer demand, you cannot possibly hope to answer that demand with the same number of hands that has carried your business through its infancy without compromising the quality of your products or services. No matter how giving the keys to the kingdom to others may be troublesome, it is equally as necessary, so do your best to find associates who will rise to the highest possible standards you may demand. Nourishing talented prospects or outsourcing some of the duties may be the best possible solution for bridging the period until your expanded roster is ready to go.
Move Your Business Outside Your HomeGrowing a home-based business means nothing more than inevitably moving it outside the home. It is better to do that sooner than later. Renting an office, no matter how small it may be, will automatically provide your business with an aura of credibility, and give you more room to expand your operations. If you are creative enough and ready to use that office as a backdrop for guerilla action, you may even create an interesting landmark and make sure your brand will remain in the public consciousness for quite some time.
These were some of the tips that should help your small business to overgrow its initial mold and finally join the major league. Try using them, and try using them now. Every moment you wait is a moment you have missed an opportunity to acquire new customers and come closer to the goal.