To expand a business into a new market successfully, you need to be bold, you need to allocate financial resources, and you need to have a comprehensive strategy in place. While business expansion is the dream of every entrepreneur and solopreneur, the act itself can seem quite daunting because of all of the financial, strategic, and logistical considerations. One wrong move, and you might get pushed out of the new market in a matter of months, in which case all of that planning and investing would have been for naught.
This is why your strategy should encompass everything from market analysis to brand optimization, from improving your sales strategy to upgrading your entire digital marketing approach and your site, and more. Let’s explore these tactics and help you optimize them for the new market, and of course, help you connect the dots of your expansion strategy as a whole.
Research the potential markets
It all starts with a thorough market analysis. It’s important that you know exactly what every potential market has to offer so that you can create a detailed cost vs effect report that will, in turn, allow you to make the best decision for the future of your brand. Remember, making the right first move and choosing the right market to expand into is half the job. With that in mind, it’s time to do your research.
You can use a standard SWOT analysis to discover the unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for every potential market. Your focus, though, should be on acquiring the in-depth knowledge of the market’s trends and projections. Through meticulous demand sensing, try to figure out just how much of a need the market has for your products or services. Understand the growth rates for every market, assess the barriers to entry, and of course, research your new competitors.
Define your new ideal customers
Aside from a detailed market analysis and gaining a deep understanding of your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you will also need to define your new customers. Keep in mind that every city, every region, and every state has a unique culture that permeates the local way of life, and greatly influences the decision-making process and mindset of every individual. So naturally, you can’t expect to waltz in with your current brand identity and sales strategy and expect to have a gay old time.
No, the local demographic will fight you and the competitors will try to exploit the fact that you’re the new kid on the block if you don’t optimize your entire online and offline presence to fit the new market. To do this, you need to research your new customers. Be sure to make new customer profiles, complete with valuable information such as shopping habits, culture, economic standing, aspirations and goals, unique pain points, and more.
Ready your sales team and strategy
By far, one of the most important tasks you need to tend to is to adapt, optimize, and improve your sales team, tactics, and your sales strategy as a whole. Remember, you’re not only entering a whole new market, you’re also taking on a lot more work, so you need to assemble a crack team of sales professionals who can handle the workload, and connect with the local customer base on a deeper level.
To make every first contact with a potential customer as cost-effective as possible, make sure that your bd representative is well-versed in the intricacies of local market, and that they are able to nurture the new leads to fruition. Work closely with every member of your sales team to develop the best step-by-step process to get in touch with prospects, and move the sales conversation forward until you successfully close the deal.
Optimize your products, services, and content
To shape the minds of your customers and appeal to the unique sensibilities of a new demographic, you need to control the narrative. Your content, your services, your products, and your brand need to be optimized for the new market in order to attract prospects and get your message heard in the competitive arena. No need to change everything or develop a separate website, just fine-tune your wording, product descriptions, and your brand messages to appeal to the local audience. Include their interests, and weave their values into the narrative to establish a more meaningful relationship – that’s how you develop quality leads.
Expand your marketing strategy as well
And lastly, be sure to optimize your marketing strategy as well. The words you use and the way you design your ads and all online content will have a profound impact on your new audience, so you need to make sure that these marketing materials produce the right emotional response. Use your research to fine-tune your marketing messages, open up new social media accounts for the new markets, and start incorporating local SEO into your online presence in order to dominate the local SERPs and get your brand noticed.
Keep in mind that your marketing messages and ads need to address the local customers. Avoid generalization and instead talk to the local people, address the hot topics in the local community, and emphasize your role in the local market. Try to build rapport with the community by engaging with your followers on social media, and use the insights you have gathered about your competitors to resolve the issues that persist in the local marketplace.
Expanding a business is one thing, but venturing into a new market and establishing a foothold in the first few months is a different beast entirely. Follow these steps in order to build a strong expansion strategy and ensure your success in the new marketplace.
Guest author, Raul Harman, is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com