If you run a small business and dream of expanding, there are a number of ways you can upscale your operation without breaking the bank. Read on for some tips that can help you achieve expansion at a relatively low cost.
Small business expansion may involve changes to your physical premises; perhaps you need a larger office or warehouse to accommodate more staff or rising stock levels. You can potentially keep your costs down by looking for better value infrastructure, such as broadband, utilities and transport.
Look for cost-effective deals online via cashback websites, which will often give you some money back on what you spend if you click through them to reach a target portal. Additionally, you might consider trading in your van for a more efficient option to make tax savings, and see which utilities providers offer the best tariffs.
When it comes to furnishing your warehouse or office, look for budget-friendly equipment such as shelving units, and see if you can benefit from multi-buy deals on stationery.
The internet is a valuable tool when expanding your business, but you’ll need to pay attention to your web presence if you want to make the most of your marketing opportunities. Ensure you have a professional-looking website that is easy to navigate and understand and, if you provide purchasing opportunities online, the process needs to be seamlessly integrated for the best consumer experience.
It’s also worthwhile taking advantage of the opportunities social media provides in getting your name known. Set up a Facebook page and a Twitter account to connect with your target audience and other influential groups or people in your industry.
Another option is to establish a blog and circulate your posts. This will allow your audience to connect with you on another level and raise your profile.
Often, business expansion involves tapping into new markets, be it through selling different products or services, or by entering industries abroad. If you already stock one sort of product, look for complementary goods you could sell, too.
If you’re thinking of expanding to overseas markets, you’ll need to do lots of research to make sure there’s enough demand for your product and whether it will sell at the price you’d like it to. There are all sorts of agencies that can help by providing you with advice and support on overseas expansion, or you might decide to team up with another company in the same industry or a connected field that already works in the market you’re looking to tap.
When expanding your business operations, it’s important to have your books in order. If you find new customers are slow to pay, don’t come down too heavily on them while you’re still establishing yourself as an expanding company, but keep a good record of your dealings to use if you need to prove your case at any point. It’s also a wise move to make sure you have a buffer while you progress through the transition, as this helps to mitigate any risks you might be taking.
Get some advice from an independent financial adviser as to your projected financial goals – especially if you’re planning to take your business abroad. They may have a better understanding of money markets, both locally and globally, and can give you the information you need to make educated decisions about capital.