There’s no denying it: Keeping a small business alive is much, much harder these days. Countless industries have become significantly more competitive due to rising demands, the Internet, and simply the expansion of the industry itself. The increase in competition might explain why some small businesses are hesitant about growth. They associate growth with cutting down the competition, or learning how to do something better than anyone else. According to this perspective, growth means taking customers away from other hard-working businesses just like yours. But this isn’t the only route to growth. Another idea is creating a new market, possibly by offering a new product or service that your target demographic didn’t know they needed.
You’d be entering uncharted territory that is free of cutthroat competition. Here are some tips for going about this growth strategy as well as how to put your plan into action:
Connect With Your Core Customers
The first step is to figure out what your customers are looking for but aren’t getting from your industry. Your products or services are likely designed to solve a widespread problem, and there’s a good chance your customers are facing at least one other similar problem that is related to the original one you originally set out to solve. This second problem could be separate or directly connected to the first, i.e. a problem your customers regularly experience in obtaining or using your products or services.
If you’re not sure which direction to go, it’s time to do some research and talk to your customers. Engage with them on social media and find out what they are saying about your industry on fan pages and/or user groups. Email surveys might work as well, but probably only if you offer some sort of reward, like a coupon. Nothing, of course, can compare with the value of face-to-face communication. You might find that most of your competitors do the same things before or after buying from you or visiting your store.
Figure Out Everything You’ll Need
After determining which void you are in the position to fill, you must narrow down every single thing you need to put your plan into action. The first things that come to mind will probably be a bigger team, new equipment, or new materials to work with. But odds are, these fairly-obvious resources aren’t all you’re going to need to make serious progress over the coming months. You have to consider how this initiative will affect your cash flow, financial health and day-to-day routine. Will you need extra time because your industry is approaching a busy period? Or, will you need funding to not only cover the required resources but also the cost of marketing the release well before it becomes available?
This is the point where some businesses conclude that the only way to launch this growth initiative without jeopardizing cash flow (or their sanity) is with a small business loan. But before you contact the bank, you remember how tedious and time-consuming the application process can be. And you might not generate enough revenue right off the bat to begin making monthly payments. Alternative business financing companies like United Capital Source, however, can provide small business loans tailored for the development, marketing and continuation of new products or services. We have the ability to approve working capital loans, merchant cash advance, and bad credit business loans in under two days and your terms could be arranged based on your industry’s financial cycle.
The Right Mix Of Logic And Conviction
While credit score, net worth and the size of your business might not impact your application at UCS, no business lender will approve a potential borrower that hasn’t conducted scrupulous research about the current state of his or her business and the amount of revenue the desired investment is projected to generate. These numbers will play a role in the amount you will be approved for in addition to the terms of your small business loan. You must therefore apply systematic logic regarding new markets and industry boundaries. The general purpose is to prove that your desired investment increases the value for buyers while speeding up the overall growth of your business.
Business lenders will also likely favor approval from your accountant and business partners. Remember, real growth is not a possibility unless everyone it will affect is fully on-board.
Taking The Path Less Traveled
A big reason to choose this particular route to growth is because it’s a lot less stressful than continuously trying to out-do your competitors. UCS fits perfectly into this equation because we are among the easiest business financing companies to work with, in regards to both terms and customer service. Our small business loans are specifically crafted to give you as much time to yourself as you need during the hardest stages of your investment. We understand that this initiative may be unfamiliar territory and are willing to offer any financial advice we can to make the future more clear. Your choice of growth strategy and business lender will prove the value of working smart, not hard.