Module Eleven: Grow the Business

Module Eleven: Grow the Business

Once you figure out what works in starting and running a business, the next step is to grow the business. Offering more products or services within the existing company is one way to expand upon your business. Branching into territories such as bidding for contracts, opening a new location, and franchising the company can also help grow your profit.

Offer More Products / Services

This is a relatively simple way to grow what you already run. For example, if you own a pizza shop that strictly sells pizza, consider adding something to complement the pizza. Say…chicken wings. The key to determining your new offerings is deciding if it is something that your current customer base wants. You can informally ask for customers’ feedback as they frequent the shop or ask them to complete a questionnaire, providing their thoughts. If the new product is something that will attract a new customer base, decide if there is currently a market for the product and your willingness to aggressively promote the product so pursuing it is worthwhile.

Open Another Location

Even though it is a lot more complex than just adding new products, opening an additional one can produce positive results. In some ways, opening a new location is like starting from scratch. You must:

  • Determine the location. We’ve all heard Location! Location! Location! This is especially true when adding on to an existing business. The purpose of expanding your business this way is to drastically increase profits. You want to get the most out of this investment, so do your homework on what would be the most beneficial location.
  • Hire and/or train employees.
  • Set up shop. Stock the business with your products and make other preparations for opening day.
  • Promote the new products/services.

Franchise Opportunities

Choosing to franchise your business is a serious commitment, so you want to carefully think through what you hope to achieve by franchising and firmly decide if this is something you can accomplish by just opening additional branches of your company or if franchising is truly the answer. One of the main differences between franchising vs. opening an additional location is with franchising, the franchisee would be responsible for providing the capital to start, run, and grow the business, while it would be your task if you select opening an additional location instead.

If you agree franchising is what your company needs to do to capture additional market share, consider these things:

  • You need to understand your company. It seems that you should already “understand your company” by now, but you don’t realize you don’t know your company until someone asks you a question about it that you cannot answer. As the franchisor, you are the main representative of the company and before you attract franchisees, you need to be able to describe to them the benefits of franchising with your company rather than going to your competition.
  • What does this mean legally? Consult a professional to help with deciphering the laws surrounding franchising. Doing so early on can help avoid legal woes in the future.
  • Set the guidelines for the candidates wanting to become your franchisees.
  • Screen and select franchisees.

Scoring Large Contracts

Acquiring contracts to provide your products and/or services to other organizations can be a great benefit to your company. You may be approached by a company, asking you to be their supplier, but that’s not likely. Typically, you will have to seek out these contracts. Some companies advertise contract opportunities on their websites. Each has a set method of how you go about applying for the opportunity. Some require that you just complete an application, while others may have you submit an application, formal bid proposal, and accompanying documentation such as a capability statement.

Elements of a Winning Proposal

  • Name of your company
  • Background of your company (e.g. when formed, financial info, etc.)
  • Your company’s mission statement
  • Products and/or services your company offers and how long for each
  • Previous clients

Before bidding on these contracts, you must ensure your company is fit to deliver. Some basic questions to ask yourself to gauge how ready you truly are, include:

Do I have the financial and personnel resources to fulfill the contract?

Are the company’s needs in line with what my company offers?

Lesson Summary

Starting and running a business requires more than just an idea - continued growth is essential to sustainability. Growing your business can be done through various methods such as offering more products/services, opening an additional location, franchising, or bidding for contracts. Offering more products/services enables you to utilize a customer base you already have and gain a new one if needed. Opening an additional location is another opportunity to increase profit, but requires careful thought such as selecting the best location and hiring/training staff. Franchising is also an option, but includes serious legal commitments and understanding all aspects of your company to attract franchisees. Lastly, scoring large contracts from other organizations is possible when submitting a proper proposal and being prepared to deliver the services/products required.

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