Scaling a business is typically done after a company has passed through the early stages of start-up and has an established product or service. In the scaling stage, businesses seek to increase revenue by expanding operations.
There is a time to scale and consider business growth. Growth and scaling opportunities typically require additional outputs so it’s important to have a solid business foundation and established operations in place before considering a growth strategy
In this article, we’ll explore how to scale your small business strategically so that it won’t take too much away from the bottom line.
How to Scale a Product-Based Business
If your business sells products, implementing these successful scaling strategies can help you reach a broader audience.
Leverage Online Exposure
When trying to generate significantly more sales, simply having a website will not cut it. There are many ways to expand your business’s online presence, and these are some ways you can gain broader exposure for your goods:
- Place your products on various platforms. Regardless of what type of products you sell, you can make them available for sale on ecommerce platforms. These include Amazon, Walmart.com, eBay, or specialty stores that sell products in the same niche as yours.
- Promote products through social media. Post engaging stories, photos, and videos featuring your products. Also, share customer reviews and promote special offers. This puts your products in front of new customers, builds your brand image, and drives more sales.
- Take advantage of CPC advertising. Consider running CPC (cost-per-click) campaigns on social media channels, which are targeted posts that get directly in front of your target audience. With CPC ads, you set your own daily budget.
- Make the most of influencer marketing. Arrange to have your product endorsed by an influencer. Influencers are individuals who have a large social media following and are seen as experts in a specific niche. This is a business strategy that can propel product sales.
Go Global to Scale Your Business
Another way to scale your small business is to sell products to customers outside the U.S. or import products internationally.
The Oregon SBDC’s Global Trade Center offers no-cost advising services to help small businesses reach their global business goals. The Oregon SBDC’s Global Trade Center allows you to work with a trade adviser to assess your company’s readiness, create a business plan, access specialized training programs (such as Buying and Selling Outside the United States and CGBP Exam Prep Training), get support from a network of global trade partners, and more.
Gain Access to Market Research
Having valuable data at your fingertips is a surefire way to ensure that you’re making intelligent decisions when scaling your products-based business. The Oregon SBDC’s Market Research Institute provides market research to help companies identify growth opportunities, understand the competitive landscape, refine their business plans, and make more informed decisions.
How to Scale a Service-Based Business
If you have a business that offers services like beauty, healthcare, accounting, finance, marketing, and so on, below are some strategies on how you can grow your business depending on the type of service you offer.
Use Technology to Serve More Clients
If you provide services that don’t need to be conducted in person, you can take advantage of tools that allow you to do more. Many service-based businesses continued operations during the pandemic by meeting with clients through video-conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and others. These tools allow you to expand your client base outside your geographic area.
Another way your business can use technology to serve clients better is to utilize online schedulers, automatic appointment reminder texts, online form completion, and digital contract–signing platforms. These tools not only offer more convenience for your clients but also help streamline your business’s internal processes.
Scale Your Business Through Government Contracts
Securing a government contract can offer numerous benefits for companies, making it a great way to scale your business.
These contracts come in different sizes. That way, multiple companies—including major corporations and small businesses—can compete against each other for the winning bid. There is usually a lot of paperwork to do, and it can take a long time to win the bid. However, some of these opportunities can be lucrative.
The first step is to research what contracts are up for bid on the federal, state, and local levels. You can then determine whether your company would be a suitable fit.
You can also access government contracts up for bid through the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), and you can find Oregon state and local government contracts on OregonBuys or the Procurement page on Oregon’s state government website.
Scale Through Innovation
To help Oregon small businesses scale and bring innovative concepts to the marketplace, the Oregon SBDC helps companies prepare proposals for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants through the Network’s partnership with VertueLab. SBIR/STTR are competitive federal grant programs that award funding to small businesses to engage in research and development with the potential to commercialize new technologies. You can find more information here.
The Oregon SBDC is here to support small business owners from launch to expansion, and renewal to exit strategy. To locate a regional Center near you, visit OregonSBDC.org.
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