Expanding your business into new markets can drive increased revenue. However, you may want to look before you leap into industry verticals and markets that appear to make tantalizing targets for your company’s capabilities.
Most of us are very good at quite a lot of things. The problem arises with deciding just what aspect of our businesses we want to expand. If someone sends us an RFP out of the blue, we have a tendency to say: “Well, I can do that.”
The question is whether you really want to do that. Just because you are capable of fulfilling what’s requested in an RFP doesn’t translate into taking on a project that may not represent your business’s sweet spot.
Expanding your business development and revenue generation initiative can be a good thing. Increasing business development beyond the capabilities of your current business model isn’t.
Before you boldly go into new markets and verticals, assess the robustness of your infrastructure. Expand wisely and prudently. Avoid scattering your expansion efforts all over the place, a la Ready-Fire-Aim style.
Expanding your business and developing new markets for your current products and services can be a good thing. Going after any and every new market who will purchase a little bit of your products and services isn’t.
If you are expanding locally, across the state, regionally, or globally, target prospects who will purchase more than a little bit of your product and service offerings. Fulfilling lots of small orders or contracts, generated from all over the place, may prevent you from honoring a really sweet deal with a customer who is willing to purchase volume from you on a repeat basis. This is something that’s especially important if you are a manufacturer.
Taking on a lot of one-and-done projects may prevent you from focusing on identified areas of business and technical mastery which you are targeting as part of your professional development plan.
For starters, consider expanding your business by:
- Shrinking / contracting the scope of your focus;
- Determining new marketplaces where your presence will be welcome and make sense;
- Targeting customers who will offer you solid opportunities and at least mid-sized orders;
- Offering a service or product that currently is profitable and works for your business model; and
- Leveraging your experience in established marketplaces to sell into new ones.
You will find you have far more control over the quality and quantity of your new business relationships. You also will create greater opportunity for building a loyal and retained client base.
What are your business expansion plans for this year?
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She works with non-traditional sellers, engineers, manufacturers, and technical startups creating sustainable legacy business models. Her book on sales and engineering collaboration strategies, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
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