| Ambition Without A Plan Is Just A Wish

Posted in Small Business at 12:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

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If you’ve managed to get your business to a place where growth is the next logical step then, chances are, you are looking at entering a new market. It is a wise move to make when wanting to leverage your core business for expansion. However, it isn’t as easy as one may think and having a disciplined plan in place can be the difference between success and failure.

As such, we recommend you follow the following plan to help you properly understand the opportunities and risks before you dive into the unknown.

 

Make Sure You Understand the Market

This may look like a simple matter of defining the new marketplace by simply defining who it is you want to sell to exactly, but defining their needs can be a real challenge. It doesn’t matter whether you have a product or a service, you need to perform thorough research on your potential customers first. That is why we recommend you define your current customer base first and then look for any logical step. If you sell mainly to college students, then see if you can expand to include the institutions themselves. Then consider things like demographics, locations, spending habits and common interests.

 

More Analysis Is Better

Just because you understand your current market, doesn’t mean you know the next. Things will be different. Growth rates will be different, competitors will be different, demand will be different and your entry points will be different. All of these areas will need to be analyzed and understood, and that can be a lengthy process. But there are no shortcuts, you need to accept that.

 

Address Your Capabilities

The desire to grow is not enough; you need to have the capabilities to deliver. It could be that you have the right personnel on board to meet the demand, but you may not have the capital needed to launch; you may need to seek out some unsecured business loans to actually get the ball rolling. Alternatively, you may have the funds there, but not the sales channels, or the right infrastructure, or even the right relationships. That is why it is imperative you perform an internal capabilities assessment before moving forward.

 

Prioritize Your Potential Markets

Once the previous steps have been done and checked, and you’re happy with the results, it is time to pick which market/s you are going to hit first based on a priority list. All too often, business owners pick the new market based on potential revenue and not the best strategic fit. This could be the very thing that cripples you. When looking at potential markets, you should always look to see which has gaps and which of these gaps you could best fill. Your competitors will likely be looking to fill these as well, so make sure you can do it better than anyone else. You also need to know what the value of this gap is so that you can understand how much people will be willing to pay for your business; these things will be the key to successful market expansion.

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  1. […] and it’s essential to understand your market before you start working on a strategy. What is the target demographic? How can you best connect with these people? Do they like the concept and how much would they be […]

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