Here are 10 ways to take your business into the future. I hope it helps.
1. A Second Location
Have you considered whether your business might be suitable for the launch of a second site? This is usually the first thought business owners have when considering spreading their wings. So here are what Australian Business Experts consider to be some foundational elements in the decision making process.
Your business should have maintained consistent profit and steady growth in the prior 2 years.
Will your type of business be as acceptable in a new location with employed management?
Does your business have staying power or is it a temporary, short term offering that may die out as time passes?
Are your systems and procedures up to scratch? You’re going to need them when you have two sites to manage.
Have you written a plan that includes the development of the business through additional sites? You’ll need a plan for the new site, but you’ll also need a plan for the new business model you’ve created that encompasses all sites.
Have you got enough Start Up Capital and Working Capital to see the growth through to success? You’re going to need it!
Choose a new location based on the likelihood of success, not price!
Franchising can be a huge opportunity for robust business types but here are some things to consider.
Brand. Franchisees buy Franchises for the Brand’s pulling power. If you haven’t considered what your brand is, you’ll need to think this one through and it’s bigger than you imagine.
Structures and systems are important in franchising as you could be looking at 9 or 10 outlets or 900 or 1000 outlets and you have to keep your head around your Franchisor job.
Franchising is about being able to take a product, group of products or service to a very large market.
Your return on investment for franchising is about how well you look after your franchises.
Franchising has significant mandatory regulatory controls, so you’ll need a specialist lawyer.
In Australia there can be very little difference between a license and a franchise so you need to do your homework carefully.
Software and other brand products lend themselves well to licensing as long as you don’t intend to control the way your Licensee operates their business.
Licensing partners need to be aligned with what your product does to maximise the license effectively.
You’ll need to consider protecting your intellectual property and branding rights, so you’ll need a lawyer to make sure you’re protected.
4. Strategic Alliances
Aligning yourself with a similar type of business can be a powerful way to expand quickly.
If you wondered why outlets like one of the hair care product retailers do what they do it’s because they understood that it took more than hairdressing all day to make great money. Buy aligning themselves exclusively with hair care product manufacturers they increased salon revenue and profitability.
Have considered similarly aligned businesses with whom you could agree to cross sell product or services.
Looking at what products or services could be includes in your offering might just be the way to great revenues and profitability
Are there existing complementary products or services already available or could you develop your own?
Is there an import or export opportunity for yours or others’ products?
Are there other opportunities for speaking, writing or publishing about your area of expertise?
6. Targeting Other Markets.
Is your current market doing well? Could there be other market niches available you could utilise?
7. Government Tenders
These aren’t for everyone due to the high level of compliance required to submit a tender. But it’s not impossible.
This could be exactly the thing to kick of a whole new business dimension and attributed credibility.
8. Merge or Acquire another business
Merging with or acquiring another business isn’t that difficult but it’s what you do with once the paperwork is done. A recent example of this is a music store that was bought from the brink of disaster by a second music store only to find the purchased struggling business pulled them both into failure. So the questions are..
Would you have enough working capital to see a failing business into better times?
How would you manage staff and customer retention?
What are the fall back clauses that would help maintain security in your existing business.
Could you meld technologies and how much time and cost would it involve?
Keep an eye on your competitors, if you play the game right, you may pick them up for a song!
9. Global Expansion
You don’t necessarily need to acquire another business to expand globally. You just need to prime your offering for an international market.
To expand in this way, will you need a foreign distributor to carry inventory and resell it in domestic markets.
Have you considered what trade groups or foreign chambers of commerce are available?
Is there a demand for your product internationally and how would you find out?
How would you proposition your foreign contacts to act on you behalf?
10. The Internet.
Bill Gates said “by the end of 2002, there will be only two kinds of businesses: those with an Internet presence, and those with no business at all.”
We all know that an effective web site is an integral part of business today so how have you prepared yourself?