Exploring and expanding into new markets can be one of the most sure-fire ways to grow a firm and increase its revenue. However, it can often seem an uphill struggle to decide where to start and workout the best and most profitable avenues where your company will be best positioned to succeed.
If that sounds in any way familiar, read on for some tried and tested tips that could help your firm begin down the road of expanding its reach and exploiting new opportunities.
Think about foreign markets
There’s little doubting the dramatic impact the internet and associated web technologies have had on modern business. However, while the web has undoubtedly improved and streamlined company operations almost across the board, it’s worth remembering the internet is, by its very nature, a global resource that affords the huge potential to expand into foreign territories.
Of course, at the very minimum, you’ll need to think about translating your site into the languages of your target markets, but the process of changing your website to fit with a foreign demographic goes far beyond just words. For the best results, you should consider using translation and localization software to ensure your message doesn’t end up getting lost – or, worse yet, you fall into the very realtrap of offending foreign users through the subtle cultural differences between nations.
For example, common English phrases often don’t hold the same meaning when translated word for word, and even images, emojis, or video content can end up causing offense if they’re not carefully verified first. If in doubt, you should consult an expert.
Identify alternate uses or markets for your existing products and services
Unless your company operates in a highly specialized market, you could likely expand your operations by slightly tweaking the products and services you provide for other sectors. For example, if your company already produces printed t-shirts, it wouldn’t take a dramatic shift for you to start also making sweatshirts. Thus, almost all companies can potentially crossover expansion if you just put a little thought into it and are prepared to adapt.
Take advantage of the opportunities by moving sales operations online
In recent years, there has been a gradual change in the way manufacturers sell their products, with a definite shift to cutting out the middlemaninstead of selling directly to consumers. Clearly, the direct sales model will have a huge impact on your profit margins and improve your overall Return on Investment (ROI),but it can also provide businesses the opportunity to build a tangible relationship with their clients and puts them far more in control of their branding and messaging.
By moving more of your sales operations online, you’ll also dramatically cut your overheads – plus, an e-commerce site works for you 24/7/365, without the need for breaks, time off, or holidays.
Build better, stronger links with your customers
Statistics show that 87% of consumers will repeat buy from a firm if they have a good shopping experience, while American customers are prepared to spend 17% more if buying from a firm they know has a good reputation. Therefore, customer care and improving the overall shopping experience should be front and center of your firm’s approach to sales and can greatly impact your conversion rates.
As a starting point, you should perform a full audit of your website to check for barriers or potential points of confusion in your online shopping experience. Then, in terms of real-world sales, you should ensure your staff are all adequately trained and sing from the same hymn sheet regarding how they approach consumers.
However, suppose you’re really committed to providing the best total shopping experience from the first contact right through to after-sales care and follow-ups. In that case, you should invest in some Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that will largely automate the process while also maintaining excellent connections.
Take time to understand your clientele
It’s unfortunately very common for businesses to assume they know best in terms of what their customers want or need – without actually doing any market research or spending time asking. While you might get lucky with these assumptions, it’s never a bad idea to take a little time out from being so involved with your firm and instead try to see things from a customer point of view.
Moreover, your company will benefit greatly if you also perform a little research, actually asking your customers what they want or need from your firm. In most cases, clients will be more than happy to help you if you ask them – plus,you’ll also appear much more proactive and show that their opinion matters.
In the age of websites, email, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to set up online polls or questionnaires and invite your customers to take part. You could end up very surprised by the results.