Turning a small business into a big one is never easy. The statistics are grim. In other words, most businesses start small and stay there.
But if that's not good enough for you—or if you recognize that staying small doesn't necessarily guarantee your business's survival what follows are some options that can help you create a growth strategy of your own.
• Market Penetration. This is the least risky option of selling more products to current customers. Find new ways for customers to use your products.
• Market Development. Develop ways to sell product to an adjacent market by expanding to another city or province.
• New Distribution Channel. You may expand by offering product on line.
• Product Development. The classic growth strategy offers new products to existing and new customers.
• Horizontal. This strategy could involve buying a competitor. This not only adds to growth of your business but eliminates a competitor.
• Backward. This involves buying a supplier and in addition to growth provides increased control of the supply chain.
• Forward. If appropriate you could buy a component of your supply or distribution chain. This provides increased overall margin through profits at each level of product sales.
• This involves growing the company by buying another company in a sector unrelated to your business. This can be risky and certainly requires an understanding of the new market place.
Growth strategies are never pursued in a vacuum, and a company needs to be willing to change course in response to feedback from the market. Too often, companies take a year to develop a strategy and, by the time they're ready to implement it, the market has changed on them.
The marketplace generally rewards those with agility, decisiveness and ability to capitalize when opportunities are presented.