Three Ways To Grow Your Business
In difficult economic times it’s more important than ever to constantly develop your business. Coming up with new products and markets is essential.
In this guide, we’re taking a look at ways of expanding your business into different areas, and increasing your market reach.
According to a report from the UKTI (UK Trade and Investment) the percentage of UK firms who do business overseas has risen over two years from 26% to 31%. Of these, 55% were in manufacturing, and 26% in services.
Yet trading overseas is not reserved for big businesses. Research of over 200 SME’s has shown that 3 out of 4 plan to export more. So if you are not already exporting, you could be missing out on potentially lucrative markets.
To create an export market, you should create an Export Market Plan. This could include:
- Assessing your export potential by finding out how your product or service could be useful to an overseas market.
- Market Research: You should thoroughly investigate your overseas market. This should include demand, growth rates, current competition, and any economic or political risks.
- Barriers such as the exchange rate and any language or cultural difficulties should be explored.
- An assessment of the costs involved, as well as potential profits based on your market research.
Innovating – developing new products, ideas, or ways of doing things, is vital to moving a business forward. The UKTI study also showed that firms who innovate are far more likely to benefit from overseas business. So investing in innovation will help you spot either potential opportunities or products that can increase your market.
Research and development doesn’t have to suck up all of your time; there are different options available for managing innovation. It is possible to outsource innovation to companies who assess your current approach to innovation and identify new areas, opportunities and markets for you to develop.
Alternatively, you can invest in innovation management software which can help with the generation, development and production of ideas. Especially useful is innovation management software which works in the same way as social media, enabling employees involved in innovation to easily share, vote on and discuss ideas.
You might have the best ideas in the world, but often you will need extra finance to get them off the ground.
To gain funding for your business, you can either approach a bank with a sound growth plan, or explore funding from private investors or business angels. There are also numerous sources of grants and government funded finance initiatives, or you could borrow through asset based finance such as bridging loans.
If you have a really innovative idea, especially one which would also be of great benefit to the poor or stricken in underdeveloped countries, then crowd funding websites are a new and growing source of finance for many businesses. Before approaching anyone for finance however, make sure you have a business plan which fully sets out the potential and profits you will be able to generate through investment.
Ralf's comment: The typical risk in an article like this is that you (Yes, you! You, the one who is reading this now…) skim the article quickly and dismiss the ideas without thinking about them. "Oh, this doesn't apply to my business. I wouldn't know how to do that!"
There can't be growth without change in your business or marketing. And there can't be change, without you examining ideas. If you really give yourself a few minutes for each of the above points, you will get the thinking started, and new ideas will pop up!
Category: Internet Business Blog |