Starting a business in New York City is anything but easy. However, the effort it takes to expand your small New York City business and beat niche competition can be even more demanding. Regardless of what kind of business you’re running, the competition is fierce in the Big Apple; particularly in the service industry. That’s why we’ve decided to give you a quick run-down of the most important tenets of NYC small business expansion.
Business Expansion 101
There is almost no need to state that striving to expand your small New York City business will mean taking a variety of factors into consideration. If you want to grow from a mom-and-pop joint to anything bigger, or become a key player in any market by ousting the competition, there will be a lot of work to do. You will need to simultaneously tackle a variety of tasks, often on a tight budget.
The key thing here is the fundamental way in which you do business. You need to take a look at how your small business operates, and try to cut out any fat. For instance, many companies don’t realize just how much of a drain fancy office space is on their startup budget. If that’s the case with you, find storage for your office supplies that are not essential, and move to a more affordable space.
Of course, this does not simply mean budget cutting, but efficiency optimizations across the board. You want to minimize the chance of human error jeopardizing any part of your operation, so attempt to make every internal process uniform. Even if you have just a couple of employees, hold them to a certain standard of quality.
This is a nice segway for a big priority in the process of expanding your small New York City business — your company culture. When you’re working with a team of just a few people, the culture of your company isn’t really something you think about. You’re used to how you do business, and it all flows intuitively from there. However, if you want your business to become bigger, you need to put forth a clear set of rules regarding the behavior of both the employees and founders.
Defining everyone’s roles within the company will make your underlying structure firm regardless of the changes that could come at a later date. Also, the culture of your company will attract a certain type of personality in potential hires, determining the future of your company.
While writing Anna Karenina, Tolstoy posed that while most happy families are similar, the unhappy ones are uniquely unhappy in their separate ways. That may be true for failed businesses as well, as most of their owners make mistakes specific to their situations. However, there is one crucial mistake that almost every small business owner makes before the untimely demise of their enterprise — not investing in marketing.
Even in the digital world of the 21st century, many people are stuck in an analog way of thinking. Make sure you’re not one of them, and set your priorities straight.
Plenty of small business owners believe that marketing is a tool exclusive to huge brands with sprawling budgets. That is not the case, especially not in the age of the Internet. In reality, the small businesses that thrive are the ones who recognize that brand establishment is more important than office amenities.
After all, New York City is the greatest metropolis on Earth. Differentiating yourself from the competition is not easy. Especially from the perspective of the average consumer, who’s constantly bombarded with marketing content both online and in the real world.
If you’re selling a physical product, you’d do well to plan out a sales funnel and create a website where customers can place orders without physically interacting with your business. These capabilities are no longer an interesting quirk to attract consumers — they’re something basic that any B2C-oriented business needs. Even the most traditional local service industries are going with the flow and establishing an online presence. For instance, moving companies have all kinds of online features for their target audience, like cost estimate calculators.
It’s important to use the Internet and digital technologies to provide your customer base with as many quality-of-life improvements as you can.
For entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to expand, you’ll constantly be in a race against time to do everything you can; we’ve said that much in the beginning. However, constantly reacting to issues that crop up in business management can easily make you lose focus of your priorities. And among them, the main one is your customers.
There’s nothing that trumps the convenience of your consumers, and realizing that is how companies like Amazon or Walmart grew from small businesses to some of the biggest corporations on the planet.
Focus on Revenue
Naturally, there is another side to the coin we’ve described above. Sure, you need to make sure you never lose sight of what your customers want and need. Simultaneously, though, you also need to take the day-to-day practicalities of running a business into consideration if you want to expand your small New York City business.
Among these, there is one litmus test you should constantly put in front of yourself — are you generating enough revenue? As a small business owner in New York, you know how expensive operational costs are compared to the rest of the country. And you probably can’t afford a huge staff at this stage of business development. That’s why you should spend as much of your own work time on generating revenue, as many other tasks can be outsourced or relegated.
Author Bio: Jonathan Norris is an NYC freelance author. When he’s not writing about local economics and NY businesses like U. Santini Moving and Storage, he’s busy traveling the country and dabbling in photography.