How to Expand to Other Cities Without Increasing Your Bottom Line
Eventually, your marketing business is going to be motivated to expand to other areas. But this type of regional expansion is usually associated with greatly increased costs, especially if you need to open a new office. Fortunately, there are many services and strategies that can make it much easier to expand your presence to other areas.
The Stages and Forms of Business Expansion
Expanding a business into other cities and new locations can take many forms and occur across many different stages. There isn’t a single formula for what you have to do or how you have to do it.
- Initial research. Most businesses choose to exhaustively research a potential expansion before taking any actual steps to expand. It’s important to establish a strategy, get familiar with the area, and make better decisions related to the move with data as the core foundation.
- Testing the waters. Moving the business to a new area isn’t always the right move, or the best move. That’s why many businesses choose to “test the waters” before devoting too many resources to the endeavor. This could include offering a pop-up shop temporarily to gauge interest, establishing online resources for people in a given area, or simply conducting a survey among people living in a geographic location.
- Traveling salespeople. Some businesses choose to remain in one location but reach others with the help of traveling salespeople. When salespeople bounce from city to city, it gives the business an opportunity to reach countless new clients without actually having to open a new location or serve another area, specifically. It’s a very cost-effective way to reach new people – and it doesn’t complicate your logistics, either.
- Location-based web presence. Instead of physically expanding, some companies choose to expand only on the web. With the help of location-based landing pages, location-centric social media tactics, and other efforts, companies can broaden their target audiences, and quite simply.
- Opening a physical storefront. Of course, it’s also possible to expand the business by opening a new physical storefront in each new location. This is usually expensive and logistically challenging, but it offers incredible rewards for certain types of businesses.
Critical Strategies for Keeping Costs Low
Regardless of how you choose to approach expansion, these are important strategies for keeping your costs low:
- Use a virtual mailbox service. A virtual mailbox service is designed to keep all your important mail and packages in one location. All your mail will be remotely scanned and uploaded, so you can review it at your discretion; you can also have your mail stored, forwarded, opened, or securely destroyed. For traveling salespeople or employees in a new location that hasn’t quite established itself yet, this is indispensable.
- Hire a good lawyer. Different locations have different laws, different tax structures, and different regulations in play. If you’re serious about opening a new location or reaching a totally different area, consider hiring a good attorney to make sure you understand the legal context of those decisions.
- Be choosy. Not every location is going to be equally beneficial for your business. For example, different areas are associated with a different overall cost of living. They may be associated with different levels of consumer demand and competition as well. Your business will be much better off if you start expanding very deliberately and judiciously; start with only the most promising locations.
- Launch with a strong team. Whenever penetrating into new territory or opening a new location, launch with a strong team. You need your best, most dedicated people to anchor these locations – and ideally, you’ll make an effort to retain those people well into the future.
- Emphasize consistent leadership and management. Your locations may be different, but your organization’s culture needs to be the same. It’s easy for a company culture to become disjointed and unrecognizable after a chaotic round of expansion; do your best to resist this natural progression.
- Be ready to adapt. It’s hard to predict exactly what challenges will await you at each new location. Be ready to adapt so you can succeed or cut your losses, accordingly.
- Standardize the process. If you plan on expanding again in the future, attempt to standardize the process. If you have clear policies and procedures for opening a new location or establishing contacts in a new city, you’ll be able to do it much more consistently in the future.
If you want your business to grow, you’ll typically need to reach more people in different locations. And thanks to the wide variety of services that are available to modern businesses, it’s easier than ever to do it.
Whether you equip your business with a massive force of traveling salespeople or you just want to open a single new storefront, there are plenty of strategies and tactics that can help you do it inexpensively.