Most business owners are looking to expand their business and grow their potential income as they enter the new year. Despite a shaky political climate, changing tax laws and other factors in stability, more business owners chose to invest in expansion projects over the last few years.

You started your company with big dreams in mind, and now that you’ve established yourself in your industry, you want to begin working toward something greater. Where should you begin?

Offer New Products or Services

The easiest way to expand your business and bring in new customers is to offer products or services that you didn’t offer before. There are many ways to gauge interest in new ideas for your business, and one of the easiest methods is customer interaction.

Engaging with your existing client base will let you know if there’s an interest in an additional product or service. You could even take a direct approach and post a survey on your social media pages, allowing customers to respond and let you know what new products they might be interested it. Depending on what type of business you run, you could also hand out comment cards or accept online reviews, which could provide some insights on what customers are getting out of your business and what they feel is missing.

Researching the competition is also crucial. If you want to offer something new to the community, it’s helpful to look around and see what’s already out there. Are your competitors offering this new product or service, or will you be the first to bring this idea to the local area? If you’re the first, are you certain that there’s a market for your idea? If others are offering something similar, will you be able to offer it for a better price? Examining the needs of your potential client base in comparison to the competition should help you estimate risk and decide whether this type of expansion will be worth your effort.

Look at New Potential Markets

If you’re running a business that’s thriving in your local area, you might want to consider expanding into new areas. There are many factors you’ll need to consider before making the move, such as:

  • The demand for your products or services in the new area.
  • The startup costs for opening a new business.
  • The ongoing costs for maintaining the new business location.
  • The ability to find and hire appropriate staff for your new location.
  • The differing rules for property taxes, licenses, business regulations and other notable laws and restrictions that may exist in the new area.

Deciding to open a new branch in a different area is a big risk, but it can also pay off in a major way. Not only do you stand to make much more money than before, but you’ll also be making your brand more familiar to the public. Chains are generally much more recognizable than solo locations, so if you want to become a household name, you’ll probably need to consider an expansion at some point in the future.

Keep Your Staff Happy

If you want to expand your business, you’ll need to maintain a happy staff. Stress and unhappiness can decrease productivity. A 2013 report from Forbes found that disengaged and unhappy employees were costing the United States economy more than $370 billion.

On top of that, happy employees are more likely to remain with your company long-term, which will increase morale and reduce the chances of having to waste time and money training new staff members regularly. However, when you do bring on a new staff member, a strong and consistent onboarding process will ensure they have the tools they need to get the job done right.

Expanding your business can seem a little scary, but nothing great was ever accomplished by remaining in your comfort zone. As long as you do your research, and you feel there’s a measurable need for your products and services, then you should consider taking a gamble on a better future.

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Finn Pierson
Finn Pierson is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who specializes in business technology. He is drawn to the technological world because of its quickly paced and constantly changing environment. He believes embracing technology is essential to capturing success in any business and strives to inspire and encourage top technological practices in business leaders across the globe. He's a fan of podcasts, bokeh and smooth jazz. His time is mostly spent learning the piano and watching his Golden Retriever Julian chase a stick.