You have a brilliant idea and want to share it with the world. The problem is, without a concrete business plan, ongoing return on investment, and loyal customers, it’s nearly impossible to expand. As exciting as it is to start a new enterprise, there’s still a right and wrong way to go about expanding.

Don’t Expand the Business Until You’re Ready

Word-of-mouth marketing is still considered the best type of advertising. However, with so many entrepreneurs eager to earn their first million, it’s not uncommon to see them try to rapidly expand only to fall short or even possibly fail. The expansion of any business takes time. It takes a solid marketing strategy with high-performing ads and a loyal following. You also need to be making a profit from your marketing efforts. Expanding a business is far different from trying to market to a different demographic. Marketing to a different demographic means that you’ve successfully marketed to one target audience, secured their following and now want to grow your following. Expanding your business means you have a tried-and-true strategy that has proven itself lucrative, and you now have the financial power to broaden your horizons. If you haven’t achieved these goals, it’s probably the best strategy to keep things at the status quo.

Optimizing Your Existing Market

Optimizing your existing market means getting to know your ideal customer. Far too often, brands try to market to everyone without having an ideal customer in mind. Sadly, this usually results in failure. Before one marketing dollar is spent, you need to create buyer personas. These are the people you see buying your product or service. They may come from different walks of life and vary in age and education. Your marketing plan should also be more along the lines of alerting your ideal customer to your presence as opposed to shove-it-in-their-face advertising. No one wants to feel obligated to buy right away. They want to make purchases on their terms when they feel ready. Providing the answers they’re looking for without forcing them to make an instant buying decision is the best way to convert leads to customers.

Moving Into New Markets

Reaching out to new markets still requires ads targeting specific groups within a niche. As your company grows, you want to expand, opening the door to higher revenue. One way to make this happen is by going virtual. A virtual office is a way to expand in a new location with several benefits. Even if you have a brick-and-mortar location, the online business is booming. Now more than ever, more name brands are pulling their inventory from shelves and marketing online. That’s not to say that physical retailers are dead, but being able to virtually market your business gives you access to millions of people you otherwise would never reach.

Going Global

One of the benefits that go along with e-commerce is how easy it is to reach a global market. As long as the internet is available, anyone anywhere can discover your business. That said, there are some things to keep in mind when expanding your business internationally. You’ll have to account for currency exchange rates, language barriers, and dealing with customs. There are additional shipping factors to keep in mind too. International shipping can take months depending on what’s being shipped, and it tends to be more expensive. Counter these potential issues by designing your website to account for currency differences, utilizing a translator feature, and offering international shipping that is transparent about timing and cost.

Building a small business takes time and dedication. It also takes an open mind and realizing that, sometimes, failing is just part of the growth process. Not every idea will take off. However, once you see a return on investment, you can then set your sights on expansion.