Surviving (and hopefully, thriving) your first five years as a small business owner is a huge milestone. After all, the vast majority of business fail within this time frame, so it’s a major accomplishment to pass that threshold.
But what should you do in year six?
Ideally, you’ll be in a position to think about new growth opportunities and create a solid strategy to get there. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of ideas to grow your established business.
Invigorate Your Customer Base
Since you’re officially a successful business, you probably have a pretty loyal customer base. Take advantage of those existing relationships by creating a robust, interactive social media strategy. This ensures your brand and product remain relevant within your target audience and can even help grow your followers. While you’re at it, take a look at your website and make sure it’s maximized to help convert leads through various stages of the sales funnel.
Diversify Your Offerings
Once you’ve established a solid business plan that actually works, consider the different ways you could expand, if you haven’t already. It could be adding new products to your shop, opening a new location, or brainstorming ways to upsell customers with add-ons and extras. In addition to coming up with ideas, also consider how you could finance these new initiatives. Do you have the capital on hand or could you benefit from equipment leasing or a small business loan?
Consider New Partnerships
Next, think about how to extend your reach with new partnerships. Maybe you could increase your brand awareness by partnering with a major social media influencer in your industry. Or perhaps you could start selling your product through additional channels. Now that you’re approaching year six and beyond, it’s time to transition your thinking out of the “bootstrapping” phase and into a mentality that supports long-term investments to grow your business.
Acquire Smaller Competitors
This may seem big league, but if you’ve outpaced and grown beyond your competitors, an acquisition can be a quick way to grow your business. Yes, it comes with a unique set of challenges, but you may be ready to take them on. Merging with another company gives you immediate access to infrastructure and customers. Just make sure you have a strong team in place to help oversee the transition.
Stepping into the next growth stage of your business can be just as exciting as when you first got started. Don’t be afraid to think big, because now you’re ready to implement long-term strategies to really expand your business. Good luck!