7 Tips To Help Expand Your Business In 2010

7 Tips To Help Expand Your Business In 2010

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A new year is nearly upon us and for many business owners putting 2009 in their rear view mirror cannot happen soon enough. 2008 had its own challenges, but 2009? I think that it will take several years for us to fully understand just how tough it was for many enterprises.

Government Involvement

businessThere are a number of questions still unanswered concerning the direction in which our country is heading. I’m biased here as I tend to be more of a supply-sider, preferring that the federal government not stick its nose in the way companies conduct their business. Oversight is fine, but “investing” in companies, exerting control over whole industries, and increasing mandates on the backs of strapped businesses is where the government over reaches.

Never mind a possible carbon tax, national health care, funding of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more. Lots of business owners see dollar signs in the eyes of federal bureaucrats with talk of expanding the size of government.

Business Expansion

At some point, every business will have to make a critical decision: press forward or stand still? Or, perhaps retreat in hopes of salvaging the operation in the face of a tough economy and other challenges.

I like to think that at some point our elected officials will “get it” and start allowing small businesses and individuals to do what they know is right for themselves. Until then, there are some things you can do to keep your business going. Heck, I’ve even come up with seven tips to help you expand your business in 2010:

Get Online – Sure, you’re probably already online, with web presence in the form of a page or site. Is that site getting traffic? Are you finding people referring to your site? Make good friends with Google Analytics or some other traffic analysis tool. Learn where people are coming from, what they’re reading, how long they’re on your site, and what actions they are taking. Consider hiring someone to overhaul your site; work with a professional who can expose your website to more traffic.

Go Social – Connected with the idea of going online is to extend your reach in the sphere of social networking. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all very useful for the business owner, important ways for you to bring together suppliers, competitors, and customers. Take the time to familiarize yourself with each site; set aside a certain amount of time daily to interact with people online.

Expand Smartly – If you have a brick and mortar operation, can some of what you do be sold online? Opening up a second location may sound appealing, but if you can realize similar gains by setting up shop online, do you really want the hassle and overhead of operating a second storefront?

Diversify Soon – Many of the businesses which failed during the last recession did so because their product was no longer in demand. Sure, if you own a construction company when the housing market dries up there isn’t much that you can do. However, if your company can also supply electricians, plumbers, and other repair people to businesses and residences, then you’ve been able to stay afloat because your business is diversified. Examine ways in which you can diversify your operation.

Eat Competition – Some fields are over-saturated and consolidation is necessary. For example, there isn’t nearly the same need for printing houses as there was a decade ago, therefore businesses are closing or consolidating. Whatever your area of expertise is, perhaps one of your competitors is willing to sell out to you. If so, gobble them up!

Win Contracts – Inasmuch as I personally hate the expansion of government involvement in the business sector, there is contract money to be had. And, with money being doled out, shouldn’t your business bid on the work? Perhaps it is contradictory of me to suggest it, but the money is going to be spent anyway. If your business can snag some of the work, then you’ve effectively expanded your operation.

Sell Out – No, I don’t mean selling your business off and getting out of business. Rather, selling an idea you have to others. In other words: franchise your work. There may be something particular about what you do that others could do, but for a fee. You may have “built a better mouse trap” with what you do; can you profit from your expertise by licensing the idea?

New Year

2010 holds a lot of promise for those who will selectively seize what opportunities are placed before them. Best wishes with your enterprise in the months and year to come!

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