“ You can dream, design, create, and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make it a reality. ”
Every business starts as a dream. With time, passion and effort it is built slowly, to become a reality. But like everything else, your retail business too may hit a slump. It doesn’t need to be a bad thing. Whether you’ve noticed sales are down or your business is finally profitable, you’ll be left questioning “what now?”
It’s time to build your next dream and make the most of it.
How do you know it’s time to expand your business?
This is the easiest question. Here are the indications that augur well:
1) It’s what the people want: If your customers love what your retail store sells, and want to see more of it, they’ll be asking you to expand or set up other stores. The best indication for you is that your customers are happy, and want you to be more accessible to them. Whether it’s selling online or expanding to other locations, your business is generating demands it needs to be meeting. If your customers haven’t given you any oral feedback, make a quick form they can fill out online or in your store.
2) You’re in the green: Money speaks loudest. When your business has been making a steady flow of profits, it’s clear that it’s time to take your business a step higher. Unless you’re in a niche field, customers will move on to the next big thing- what your business should be.
3) Stuck in stagnant water: If your business reaches a standstill, or you’re facing slow traffic to your retail store, don’t be disheartened. Most businesses face this at one point or another. It isn’t ideal of course, but it just shows it’s time your retail business expands or invests in something new.
If you’re still unsure about the signs (being an oracle is never easy), you can read more.
Research before expanding:
Vertically or Horizontally: The first thing you should decide is how you want to expand. For example, if your business sells fruit-jam, and you buy fruits for it from a farm, you may like to cut out the middle-man and buy the farm or start one yourself. You can even expand into other fruit-based products as well, for skincare or smoothies and juice.
Horizontally expanding your business can be a more dominating hand in the market. It’s a more outward expansion of your business, either as an opening in a new location or buying out your competition. Either way, calculate which type of expansion would bring in better profits for your retail store.
Expand to other markets: If your business has the potential to expand to other similar products, there’s no better time to do it. Research on the market for products you wish to expand to and if there’s a demand, stock up on them. Make sure the products are relevant to what your retail business does. You don’t want your customers to feel you’re jumping on the band-wagon.
Expanding Your Retail Store:
Choose Your Location: Choosing the location for your retail store is more than just comparing prices or rent of a physical location. As a business owner, you need to build a local strategy, to connect with local shoppers. Do some research on the trends in the new locality, what people like to do and spend money on. If you’re a business that sells bicycles, for instance, you may want to build a different strategy for laid-back towns and fast-paced cities. Research on the competition and market for your store as well. Expanding your retail store to a new location is the most expensive option. It requires paying rent or buying a new location, renovating the space for the business, and hiring new employees. All of this can be paid for with an alternative funding option. You can get yours here.
Online: It’s 2018! If you haven’t expanded online, well, what are you waiting for? Most retail businesses have expanded to online stores like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. Not only does this massively increase sales, but it also opens up unexplored customer markets and drives traffic home. Click amazing pictures of products, build up an incredible, interactive site and provide rich information. Build and keep track of customer reviews-they’re the best target for maximizing sales.
Tell a story: What makes your business unique? If your store is at a destination that gets a lot of foot traffic, make your windows bright, with your best products. Visually appealing stores will make customers stop, and pull them in with your business story. Brownie points for stories that tug at heartstrings. It’s the best way to expand your customer base, and get your long-time customers to spread the word about your store to everyone else.
Give the people a reason: Give people a reason, or even just an excuse to visit your store. Giving away coupons for the online store, in-store is a great way to promote your website. Hold at least one major event and two minor events each month. The major events can be something to bring in a huge amount of foot traffic, like a fashion show, giveaways, or contests. The minor events can range from lucky-draws or mini classes. This keeps your store buzzing with activity and the talk of the town.
Market your Retail Expansion
Nothing pulls in customers like good marketing. Market your expansion in advance so customers are eagerly waiting for your opening. Spread the word on social media channels and hold challenges and giveaways for people to become more familiar with your brand in the new location. It might prove difficult, but getting an influencer to promote you can be the best way for people to get to know your business. Several businesses offer amazing discounts on the first day of opening to build a sort of attraction around the store.
Expanding your retail business can take as much of an effort as building one from scratch. Put to use the lessons you’ve learned over the course of running your business, and with an additional financing option to help you out in sticky spots, your expansion will surely be a success.