Expansion of a business into a new market is certainly a challenging and daunting proposition for a business owner. However most of the pains of the process are now removed since business owners/businesses have access to a huge pool of public information available online, specific business contacts (through LinkedIn, Xing, etc…) and a process that’s worked in their existing markets.
A lot of small businesses hit a plateau in their growth within a particular region, product and/or service offering. The key challenge is to constantly evaluate the state of the business and ask the hard questions as to how the next wave of growth will occur in the business. Rather than this being an internal dialogue within the business it’s essential to get all the key stakeholders- customers, employees, partners and vendors involved in the process and provide their input.
A simple example could be taken of a local laundry mat or drycleaners. How does the business grow from say an existing customer base of around 500?
A business advisor talking with the business owner and other stakeholders can help define the existing challenges, current capacity, staffing needs and opportunity for the business. Will a new marketing channel help the business acquire new customers? How are the other competitors in the neighborhood doing? A simple survey of existing and former customers will defiantly add insights of how the business can be improved. Maybe the customer have taken deal offers in the neighbor to be granted and are keen to goto the laundry service with the maximum discount, or maybe the flyers of the service need to be provided at places with high foot traffic, prompt home delivery of clothes is something customers value and don’t mind a little bit extra.
A existing business owner sometimes need a fresher perspective of his/her own businesses to gather insights. A small business advisor offering that will certainly be in demand and can build a sustainable business of adding value to those types of clients.
Qiu Inc(www.QiuInc.com) is an international business development and market entry consulting firm headquartered in Asia. Sandeep Balaji is the Director and has more than a 12+ year track record in business development, new market entry and growth advisory for a variety of businesses.