There once was a time when most home-based business owners faced severe limitations in the growth potential of their companies. Now, home-based business owners can grow and expand their businesses without ever having to hang their shingle in a commercial area. If you want some ideas to get your own business expansion started, here are some tips. (For related reading, also check out 5 Traits Of A Successful Small Business.)
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1. Hire Contractors
You have certain strengths, all of which led you to start your own business. But you might not have all the talents and strengths necessary to take your business further. In addition, you might not be able to handle the additional workload if you did. Consider hiring contractors to outsource work and specific tasks to ensure that you can handle the workload that business expansion brings. You will also benefit from the experience and knowledge of another professional.
2. Offer a Complementary Service or Product
Depending on the industry you are in, you may not be able to get much additional work based on your current company products and services. To significantly expand your business, consider adding another a service or product to your client offerings to help attract both new customers and additional sales from existing clients. For example, if you design websites, consider advertising email newsletter design - the skills are the same, but the product may open up new doors.
3. Try New Marketing Methods
If you want to expand your home-based business by extending your reach and getting exposure to new potential clients for your business, then new marketing methods could be just the thing. Exploring new ways of spreading your marketing message can show you how your current marketing methods have been excluding certain segments. Try a mix of both traditional and new marketing approaches and be sure to track your results so that you know which are worth continuing to use and which aren't.
Marketing is a very active way of selling your product or service. Networking is a passive, almost inference-based way of communicating that you have a product or service available. When you network, you focus more on building relationships than selling. If you haven't added networking online or in-person to your marketing plan yet, then consider it as another way to possibly increase your business. If you are currently networking, consider different networking opportunities to add to the mix.
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5. Hire a Virtual Assistant
One of the scariest parts of expanding your business is the extra work it will bring on for you. Insecurity about their ability to handle extra work often prevents business owners from taking the leap. If you hire a virtual assistant, you can offset some of that extra work by having access to an individual who can take on your routine daily tasks.
6. Partner with a Complementary Service
You don't need to develop your own complimentary service or product, you can partner with another business owner who already has one. For instance, if you have a marketing firm, you can always partner with a web developer to offer package deals to clients or to refer clients to each other.
7. Ask Clients for Referrals
If you have done work for a client and they have expressed their pleasure in working with you, ask them to refer you to any friends or business associates who could use your service. You can even offer discounts of future work after successful referrals are made.
The Bottom Line
One of the only things that can really hold you back from expanding your business is you. The internet offers you ample opportunity to expand while getting access to additional help to assist you in managing that expansion. If you think you are ready to push the current limits of your business then combine the appropriate tips so that you have sufficient resources to get the work done and access to new clients. (For additional reading, also be sure to take a look at 6 Tips For Getting A Small Business Loan In 2011.)