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20 April 2018

6 Helpful Business Expansion Tips

Posted By: AIB Business
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It sounds like a dream scenario; your business is flourishing, your products or services are selling, and profits are steady. Not a problem in sight, right? Well, that’s not always the case. Learning how to expand your business successfully and sustainably can have a huge impact on the momentum of your current enterprise.

There are times when every business owner needs to do a little soul-searching and decide whether they are moving their business forward in a healthy and viable way, if they are just on cruise control, or worse, if they are barely keeping their heads above water. The solution is always to grow stealthily, sustainably, and with your customers. 

Here are six actionable tips for expanding your business and avoiding the stagnation that can often creep into even seemingly healthy companies.

1. The (Current!) Customer is King

You worked damn hard to acquire your previous and current customers, make sure you’re motivating them to be future customers too. Ensure you have a decent system for keeping their contact details and reaching out to them when you have a new launch, an update, or company news.

A digital newsletter or postal mailout are an excellent way of communicating with your customers and as these customers are often likely to shop with you again it’s a no-brainer.

2. Service With a Smile

Following on from the first point, be sure to keep your hard-won customers sweet with some healthy customer service -  this will not only help you retain the happy shoppers but could well convert the unhappy (or at least stop them from bad-mouthing you).

If you have a small organisation or the manpower, a follow-up phone call or personalised email asking them how the transaction was can give customers an opportunity to air any grievances, or, better still, remember you as the company that cared enough to check in. Even an email with a simple survey will offer you actionable insights that will help you expand.

3. Do You Want Fries With That?

Getting someone as far as the checkout - be it physical, virtual, or psychological - means they are primed to buy, so why not take the opportunity to offer them a complementary or supporting product before they swipe the plastic?

Fast food companies famously ask if you’d like to spend a euro or two extra by adding a little something to, or upgrading your meal - figure out what your business’s version of fries is, and if it doesn’t exist, make it.

4. Get Social 

There are few businesses that won’t benefit in some way from having a social media presence. As daunting as it can be, it’s never too late to create - or regularly update - your digital marketing efforts.

Start small, choose a single platform to begin with, and view it as nothing more than a digital shopfront that allows people who search for you get an insight into your company. Scale it up slowly by creating content that you hope will get shared and, as a result, acquire new leads.

When it comes to social, having a consistent presence will set a solid foundation that can be used to build something much bigger when the time is right.

5. Give it Away Now

Giving something away for free can be a powerful move when it comes to attracting new leads and increasing your customer base. And it doesn’t have to be a free product.

Think of something your team excels at, but doesn’t necessarily make money from, and see how you can deliver that to your customers as a high-value carrot. An informative e-book, webinar, or even just a simple social media post that encourages followers to sign-up or engage can make a big impact in the online world.

6. Optimize Operations

Is product being lost or is there a lot of waste? Are employees wasting time trying to find workarounds or wait for repairs? Is morale low or are sick days high? For all the high-tech hacks and digital aids you can busy your company with, there’s a lot to be said for good old-fashioned streamlining.

Get a fresh set of eyes on operations and see if there is some serious time-suck or money pits that could be improved on. It may not feel all that innovative, but turning your business into a well-oiled machine is a tried and true way of increasing output. And that, after all, is true expansion.

Want to Expand Your Business?

Whether you want to seize an opportunity, grow market share or take on more staff, our range of business products and services can help you expand your business. 

 

Please be aware that all of the views expressed in this Blog are purely the personal views of the authors and commentators (including those working for AIB as members of the AIB website team or in any other capacity) and are based on their personal experiences and knowledge at the time of writing.

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Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.

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