by Devin Partida
Getting to the point where you can extend your small business’s reach is exciting because it means you have had enough successes and learning opportunities to grow into something even bigger. Even though you may be ready to take your brand to the next level, you also may be asking yourself where to start.
Here are a few ways to grow your business without the budget of large enterprises:
- Find Other Mediums
- Introduce More Products
- Explore Partnerships
- Open New Locations
- Make a Pop-up Store
- Improve the Shopping Experience
1. Find Other Mediums
If you are only selling at a physical location, it is probably time to try your hand at ecommerce. Your current customers will love the convenience of shopping online, and those who are too far away can enjoy your products from anywhere in the world. However, you must ensure you can handle high website traffic and efficient shipping.
Social media is another platform to master if you already have a thriving website. Initially, you would have only been able to link to your shop’s site and place ads on potential customers’ feeds. Now, Meta has enabled businesses to sell to their audience directly through Instagram and Facebook.
2. Introduce More Products
Selling other merchandise can help increase your sales, but only if you are marketing the right items. Some businesses like to add similar products — like a lotion company expanding into essential oils. Diverse offerings can help reduce risk if sales start slowing down and improve your usefulness to consumers.
Listen to what your customers say if you are considering introducing more to your catalog, and ask yourself these questions:
- Is there anything they wish they could buy from you?
- Is there something they say they need but you do not sell?
3. Explore Partnerships
Is there a brand you think would work very well with your own? If you see another independent retailer selling complementary products, contact them and ask if they would like to form a partnership. You can do anything from cross-promoting each other’s offerings to expanding worldwide.
Before engaging in a partnership with anyone, it is vital to form a written agreement because it can help protect you from misunderstandings and should outline the responsibilities of each party. You should also research the reputation of the company you are considering partnering with to determine if they are reliable and match your ethics.
4. Open New Locations
Your retail business might be ready for a big step in growth — establishing a new store. Before you do so, be sure to determine if you have the finances to double your current expenses. You will need to be able to pay for all the products, employees, appliances, and utilities at your current physical location as well as the second one.
Additionally, managing your workers may become a challenge as you start to open new locations. Finding solutions for nationwide hiring could help you find suitable employees and form a functional payroll. This also involves hiring a new manager since you cannot be everywhere at once.
5. Make a Pop-up Store
If you do not have the money to open a permanent second store in the near future, consider trying out pop-up shops. With these, you can open a new physical location for a few days or even a month instead of buying or renting a new space long term.
This can help you save on expanding by only increasing costs for a short while. Additionally, if you are an online store looking to go physical, it can help you assess if the endeavor is worth it. It can also save current brick-and-mortar stores from opening a permanent second location in a bad spot.
6. Improve the Shopping Experience
This is another area where it is vital to listen to your customers. Take a look at any complaints you have gotten and see where your store can be improved. Perhaps your checkout line is too slow or your website takes too long to load. Improving in areas where they are dissatisfied can show them you care about more than making a sale, and it will keep shoppers coming back.
A better shopping experience can also help improve your word-of-mouth reputation. Online reviews are not technically speech, but they can still strongly influence a potential customer’s decision to buy your product. Therefore, the more you work to fix your customers’ problems, the happier they will be — and potentially more likely to recommend your business.
Start Growing Your Independent Retail Business
Smaller companies have a lot of competition out there. Expanding your retail business can be hard to do without the finances of big-name stores. These six tips for increasing your operations can help you continue to develop your brand without breaking the bank.