When you started your small business, you probably had small ambitions. For example, if you run a local web design company, becoming the go-to person for a local website is a good goal. But once you reach that goal, you have to decide where to go from there. If you still want to develop your operations, expanding your reach can be a reasonable decision.
In the past, geographical limitations were a barrier to businesses. But with the internet and increased connectivity of the modern world, you can expand more easily and reach out to a global audience with a small budget. Here are some strategies that you can use to increase awareness of your brand beyond the local market.
Improve Your Phone Systems
Phones were the original way for businesses to reach out and get more customers. While landline phones are becoming rare, smartphones are becoming a prevalent sight. Now, people can call from anywhere. To keep up with that, you should be able to receive more calls from interested customers.
This is where a VoIP system comes in. Instead of a normal landline, you will have a system that uses the internet to accept and send calls. You don’t have to worry about the line being in use anymore when you are calling or waiting for a call. This can make videoconferencing much easier if you want to be able to present to your clients without even needing to leave your hometown.
Besides VoIP, you can also invest in a mobile landline. Your local customers all know your phone number, but those from other locations will need to place long-distance calls or memorize long numbers with additional area codes and the like. Simplify the approach by having virtual numbers that redirect to your main number. You can have multiple numbers and have them all go to a single line so that you can better monitor and track sales calls.
Build Up Your Website
Businesses nowadays cannot exist without a website. Even a local business needs a website to give potential customers information about it. But a page aimed at attracting local business is much different from when you want to draw in customers from other areas. Most local websites are optimized so that they will pop up in local searches. Use SEO to expand your reach. When people search for you on search engines, you need to pop up in the general area and not just a single town. For example, instead of your town, then you can optimize for neighboring towns. For businesses that sell services, you might be able to snag customers if the local equivalents are not good enough or have a bad reputation.
If you are selling products, you can also use the website to your advantage by adding an e-commerce platform. This used to be difficult but thanks to service like Shopify, you can start accepting orders from anywhere in the world once everything is setup. You can expect a massive boost in sales thanks to the convenience. You might begin by limiting orders within your country to make things simpler for you. But going national for a small business is a good achievement and can potentially get more people to buy from you.
Find A Partner
Another way to expand your business is to partner up with a distribution channel. For example, if you make baked goods, you can partner up with local groceries to carry your products. It will require you to come up with some grocery-friendly packaging, but being sold on the shelves can allow you to reach more people. Find out which channels are good for your business and send a proposal to them for a partnership. Online retailers can be a great way to expand your reach since they can do all the heavy lifting of sales and distribution to a wider area while you focus on making the best products possible.
Start A New Branch
If you offer a service or experience for your business, then starting a new branch of your company can expand your coverage. This is how food chains started, and you can follow their procedure. If your main location is having trouble keeping up with the demand, then a new branch to service a new area can help ease the load on your main branch while drawing in new customers. But this can be risky. The capital that you use to build a new branch can hurt your main business, so be sure about this expansion.
Small businesses can grow to be large ones. Take the first steps to growth by expanding your reach. Get more customers, and you can increase your profits.