Retail businesses are facing a huge demand today. With online shopping becoming more and more widespread, customer bases have never been larger. And while online stores are popping up left and right, brick-and-mortar is still going strong, too. In such an environment, your store may have found success and could be doing well at the moment. However, that does not mean you should just sit back. Times are rapidly changing and you need to keep up, too. Expansion can help you keep competition at bay and ensure your revenue stays on an upwards curving trajectory. There are many ways in which you can grow your business. Here are a few suggestions you should consider.
If you have a physical store, the first and most straightforward way to expand your retail business is by adding new locations. Physical stores are greatly limited in terms of their potential customer base since they mostly target a local audience. Therefore, it’s logical to assume that adding another store in a different place will double your customers. Nevertheless, it should be noted that adding a new location is not that easy. Not only does the location need to be picked carefully but the setup costs need to be calculated well, too. The investment might put a strain on your budget momentarily. The new audience might not be the same either, which might require you to take a different approach.
Opening a new store is not the only way to boost physical sales, though. Pop-up shops are also a great way to give your business a small boost. They are also a fantastic way to interact with local customers if you only sell online otherwise. You will be able to show your products in person and garner trust from your customers – it’s even a great opportunity to test new products. A pop-up shop project is also a fairly low-investment endeavor so you can test the waters before committing to bigger expansions.
Whether you have an online or a physical store, adding new sales channels is a great way to boost your sales, and there are many ways to do so. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, there is a huge untapped potential on the internet, so the most straightforward thing to do is getting online. By all means, you should have a website by now, but if it has not been a primary sales channel thus far, you can change this. Start by optimizing your site for the most streamlined experience possible.
Next, consider social media. People nowadays use social media for a multitude of purposes besides staying in touch with their friends, and one of those purposes is certainly shopping. It’s easy to start selling on social media platforms and make use of their advertising options too, but you can also simply direct your followers to your own site in your posts.
Finally, signing up for a popular online marketplace a lot of people already frequent can also give a boost to your sales. Even if the profit margin might not be the same, the sales you get from there will give a boost to your cash flow. In addition, much like in the case of social media, you can gain some exposure on these kinds of sites.
The next thing you could do to grow your retail business is expanding your product line. You can simply create a bigger selection of the things you already sell or introduce new products that are still within your current brand image. For instance, if you have been focusing on casual apparel, you can introduce fashionable wholesale jackets to your offer without worrying too much about the reception. Pay attention to what your customers are requesting and only add things that make sense for the best payoff.
However, if you want to go big, there is also the possibility of expanding all the way to other markets. While this is a riskier move that requires considerably more research and planning, a well-executed market expansion can take your business to the next level. You can mitigate some of the risks by making the change gradual or even by partnering up with another business. Needless to say, a new business relationship such as this one would benefit you in more than one way. Your partner has already established a reputation for themselves in the market you are planning on venturing into, and you gain access not only to their infrastructure but also their already existing customer base.
Pursuing expansion without ample attention devoted to the efficiency of your current operations is an unwise decision. In fact, optimizing your operations in itself can provide you with a lot of room for growth. Think about how much time are you currently wasting on tasks that could be automated, and what you could do with that time. Simply removing monotone, unproductive tasks from your daily schedule will allow you to focus on the more important things and take your business forward faster. In addition, by streamlining your operation, automation will boost customer satisfaction. Needless to say, customer experience is one of the biggest factors in the number of return customers you are getting, and a positive reputation will earn you many new ones through word of mouth, too.
You can also look into other ways to lower your overhead and optimize your operations. For instance, an inefficient supply chain is losing you money and won’t be able to support your business for long. See what you could tweak to make it better.
Finally, it should be noted that expansion is going to put a strain on your budget at first so you have to make an extra effort to support your endeavor. You want customers in your newly opened store immediately, and you want your followers to be aware of the new products you just released. Needless to say, you need to step up your marketing.
When building your website, devote ample attention to SEO in order to appear in Google searches. For physical stores, make sure you place yourself on the map by creating a Google My Business profile. Stay active on social media and post news regarding your store in a timely manner. Creating a mailing list is also highly recommended, and it’s also one of those things that you can automate later on. Let the local audience know of your store opening with the help of signs and flyers and create an eye-catching window display. All in all, don’t expect miraculous growth without investing in marketing.
Every business owner wants their business to constantly grow and develop. If you think it’s time for the next chapter in your store’s history, a well-planned expansion is a great idea. As long as you do your homework and know what your customers want and need, you won’t go wrong.