What enables merchants and businessmen to increase their presence without spending money on real estate? The answer lies both in business and technology, and setting up shops in different locations isn’t what expanding a retail business is all about (however, if it makes sense to your business, you should definitely set up more shops). If you’re interested in taking your retail business to the next level and wish to invest in growth, these are some of the best and most fruitful options.
#1 Expand Service and Product Offerings
What could help your retail business grow better than adding new items or services to your catalogue? Just sit down for a minute and think about what could complement your existing product or service line? Can you sell them? What do your customers need that you’re not selling? Diversifying your products is a strong strategy that can lead to business growth.
For example, you launched a business that produces maternity clothes. As young mothers want to buy clothes for their babies as well, why not add a line of children’s clothing as well? They need to buy so many things, so instead of waving them away after they give birth, children’s clothing will get them to stay as your customers.
Besides selling new products, you can offer services on top of the product line you already offer as a way of helping shoppers make the most of what you’re already selling. For example, a training gear and footwear retailer that also has its own podiatry clinic, offering medical services to help treat shin splints or knee pain.
#2 Expand to Other Markets
By venturing into new markets, you can manage to further diversify your products and services. However, this comes with certain risks, so you should definitely test your ideas and do thorough research before diving into a totally new customer base. Get to know the market and see whether there’s an existing demand for line of products or services that you offer.
For example, Birchbox had their subscription service start out by sending boxes of beauty products to their female products. However, they started to get feedback from people saying that a men’s version of the service would be great, so the company launched Birchbox Man in 2012, thus expanding their business and tapping into the male market. But before launching it, they did small, limited-edition boxes during the 2011 holiday season, in order to figure out if people would buy them. This gave them confidence and knowledge they needed in order to proceed with their business ideas. Eventually, Birchbox Man helped them to expand the business.
#3 Make Good Use of Technology
Technology is embedded in so many different aspects of our lives, bringing so many changes, especially in the human line of thought. Luckily, there are various tools that can help young startup owners to improve and expand their businesses by helping them organize themselves better and providing them an insight of their success (expressed through various measures).
For example, startups don’t have office premises (in most cases), so employees have to work remotely. If you’re relying on hourly employees who have a changing shift time, trying to track their work can be a real nightmare. When it comes to scheduling, retail is probably the toughest industry, as work schedules always tend to change. This requires help from an efficient automated scheduling software, because it will reduce the number of planning errors (especially when scheduling becomes more complex due to more workers), notify workers in an instant when there’s a change in schedule, improve your work efficiency and productivity, and what’s also important – reduce the headaches that can occur due to the scheduling chaos.
Also, you can use digital tools to establish an online store, sell in other online marketplaces (Amazon and eBay), launch a website or a mobile ecommerce application, and stay present and engage on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Instead of widening your reach by opening brick-and-mortar stores to other locations, you can do it by selling on new online channels, as the majority of Internet users (especially younger audiences) tend to shop online, and use their smartphones to do it.
Once you get your startup up and going, try to expand it and widen your reach. Grow your business by tapping into new markets, expanding your line of products or services, improving the efficiency of your working staff by leveraging the power of useful digital tools, and sell your products and services through every channel possible that can help you expand your business reach.
Note: This is a guest post.