12 Growth Strategies for Business Expansion
To help you navigate the complexities of expanding into new markets, we’ve gathered twelve insightful tips from CEOs and founders who have successfully done so. From the time-tested strategy of cold-calling to a comprehensive four-point checklist, these leaders share their top growth strategies for achieving similar success.
- Take a Cold-Calling Approach
- Harness Customer Feedback
- Address Client Needs
- Tap into Podcasts
- Expand Linguistically
- Understand Local Needs and Regulations
- Refine Your Strategic Partnerships
- Seek Local Partnerships
- Prioritize Innovation
- Expand Your Offerings
- Use Localized Content Marketing
- Try a Four-Point Checklist
Take a Cold-Calling Approach
Start picking up the phone and make a ton of calls. Outbound cold-calling has been used for a while now, and it works very well if done right.
The first call is almost never an attempt to sell anything, but mainly to ask for information to see if there would be a good fit. This way, time isn’t wasted trying to get a new client that doesn’t need the services offered. Not everyone needs a transcription service, so once it’s determined whether they need or use one, the process moves on quickly. If the services are needed, an email address is usually asked for to send some basic information about the company and who is already working within their industry, and then a follow-up call is scheduled for the next week.
It’s really that simple, and it helps weed out the people, companies, or government entities that probably won’t ever be worked with and those that will eventually be worked with.
Harness Customer Feedback
One strategy that helped us break into a new market, specifically the LMS market, is listening to existing customers. We had several brands under our belts at the time, and we noticed many of our customers asking for a way to create free and paid courses. So, this seemed like the obvious next step for us.
I suggest sending your customers feedback forms and surveys so they can tell you what they need. Once you gather enough responses, look for repeated questions or requests, and you may find your next market.
Address Client Needs
We identified gaps in the market by keenly observing and understanding our clients’ needs and actively listening to their feedback and challenges. We tailored our products or services to address those specific needs, expanding our range of services.
This organic approach reinforced our relationship with existing clients and opened doors to new opportunities. My tip for businesses looking to replicate this success is simple: always prioritize your clients’ voices. Engage in regular feedback sessions, post-selling reach-outs, or one-on-one discussions.
This will not only help in refining your current offerings, but can also provide insights into uncharted territories worth exploring.
Tap into Podcasts
Pitch yourself to be interviewed on podcasts. There is a huge ecosystem of potential buyers listening to podcasts in every niche. Find the new market you want to expand into, and then create a compelling pitch that will land you podcast interviews in these new markets.
Podcasts always need new guests and new content, and you get the benefit of a captive audience for 20-30 minutes to gain their trust and essentially sell them on what you do. It really is an underutilized channel for new market penetration.
Our website was initially designed for English speakers. However, we recognized the potential of broader markets and translated our platform into five additional languages: Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, and Italian.
This resulted in a significant increase in traffic: 98K monthly visitors from Spain, 12K from Germany, 12K from Italy, and 6.6K from Portugal. In total, this linguistic expansion drove an additional 128.6K visitors monthly, accounting for over 64% of our total traffic. For businesses looking to tap into new demographics, speaking the language of your target audience can be a game-changer.
Understand Local Needs and Regulations
One growth strategy that helped expand FlyNumber into new markets was a deep understanding of local needs and regulations. When entering a new region, it wasn’t just about translating services; they were adapted, considering both customer preferences and the unique regulations for each local phone number.
A tip for others? Don’t just replicate; localize. Take the time to understand the local culture, customer behavior, and legal landscape. For example, when FlyNumber was expanded into different countries, it was ensured to align the services with both the communication habits and specific phone number regulations of each area.
Refine Your Strategic Partnerships
As a firm proponent of strategic expansion, I am pleased to share the transformation strategy that has contributed to our growth at Compare Banks—the dynamic synergy of strategic partnerships. This collaborative path is the key and the catalyst that strengthens market penetration and paves the way for continuous profits.
Recognizing the complex tapestry of new markets, we have adopted strategic alignment with established local partners. These partners have valuable market intelligence and an established customer base. This union is not just an agreement; it is an immersion in the fabric of the market itself.
The effect was transformative. We navigated complex regulatory issues with flexibility that surpassed our competitors, and our understanding of consumer preferences, guided by our partners, exceeded even our most optimistic predictions.
Seek Local Partnerships
We expanded into new markets by establishing relationships with local partners. You can’t underestimate the power of having someone on the ground who understands the culture, dynamics, and nuances of the local market.
For instance, when we tapped into the German market, we collaborated with a local partner, a well-established e-commerce platform in Germany. They had a strong understanding of the country’s consumer behavior, business culture, and regulatory climate.
As a result of this partnership, we simplified the entry process, facilitated quicker adaptation, and ultimately led to a successful market expansion.
Innovate continuously to stay relevant. While our core value of delivering exquisite, ideal-cut diamonds remained unwavering, our methods and approaches had to adapt. Recognizing the technological advancements and shifting consumer preferences, we harnessed 3D design techniques, virtual try-on, and AR experiences to cater to a modern clientele.
As we ventured into new markets, this integration of tradition with technology set us apart, appealing to both younger audiences and traditional aficionados. To any business yearning for international expansion, embracing change and pushing boundaries is what will keep you not just in the game, but ahead of it.
Expand Your Offerings
Expanding into new markets has been a critical growth strategy for my business, and one effective approach we’ve taken is developing complementary offerings to our existing products.
Recognizing the potential of catering to different segments of travelers, we introduced destination wedding planning services alongside our honeymoon packages. This strategic expansion allowed us to tap into a broader market of couples seeking unique wedding experiences besides romantic getaways.
By offering complementary services that align with our core expertise, we not only opened up new revenue streams, but also solidified our position as a comprehensive solution provider in the romance travel industry.
A valuable tip for others looking to achieve similar success is to leverage your existing strengths and customer base when branching into new markets. Identify the natural extensions of your current offerings that resonate with your audience and align with your brand’s value proposition.
Use Localized Content Marketing
Leveraging localized content marketing was a growth strategy that proved effective in expanding into new markets. To achieve similar success, focus on creating high-quality, culturally relevant content that resonates with the target audience in each new market.
Invest in thorough market research to understand the local audience’s unique preferences, pain points, and interests. Tailor your content to address these specifics while maintaining your agency’s expertise. This shows your commitment to understanding and solving local challenges, making your agency more appealing to potential clients.
Collaborating with local influencers, incorporating local keywords, and utilizing social media channels popular in that region further amplify your reach and impact. By speaking directly to the needs of the new market, you’ll establish credibility and attract clients more effectively.
Try a Four-Point Checklist
When I first started in sales, I was always on the lookout for the best markets to tap into. The question was: how do you identify a good market?
One day, during a brainstorming session, I had a conversation with a mentor. He said, “It’s not just about finding a market; it’s about finding the right market.” And he gave me a four-point checklist:
- Is the market in pain or desperate need?
- Is the market growing?
- Are they easy to find?
- Do they have purchasing power?
I applied this checklist when considering markets like college students versus seniors for a relationship product. Seniors checked all the boxes. They felt the pain of loneliness, the demographic was growing, they were easy to target, and they had the financial means.
So, my tip? Before diving into a new market, apply this four-point checklist. It’s not just about expanding; it’s about expanding wisely. By ensuring your target market meets these criteria, you’re setting yourself up for success.