4 ways you can expand your business » SMEInsider

4 ways you can expand your business

Have you ever considered growing your small business? There are so many rewards to expanding, including more revenue, selling a larger range of products and more respectability within the SME community. If you’re looking for ways to grow, here are four handy tips to help you out.


1. Start exporting

With trade links with the European Union, the United States, and now China, British businesses have oodles of opportunities to forge ties with foreign companies and gain more customers.

There are things you’ll need to consider when trying to export.

Firstly, are you ready to do it? It’s a huge task you’ll be taking on but a fantastic chance to create a global brand. Are you pitching it right? You’ll have to work hard on your sales skills before talking to potential foreign partners. As well as that you’ll also have to figure out how your business will will handle overseas payment and delivery.


2. Grow your online presence

If you haven’t already, creating a website for your business is incredibly vital to expanding your firm. This way you’ll gain a completely new audience who you can connect with on multiple platforms, including businesses abroad.

Social media is a great online marketing tool, and it’s free! Using services such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you can promote your business, offer exclusive deals on products and use it as an online recruitment platform. Check out this brilliant infographic on how to become a social media master.


3. Literally expand!

Physical expansion could be a great way of moving into a new market. Find a location that suits both you and your product. To make sure that opening a new location is the right thing for you, make sure you do the following things:

  • Ensure that you have a great team around you as you’ll need help with everything from scouting the new location to opening your brand new site.
  • Make sure you plan effectively – a thorough business plan will be needed for your new location.
  • Figure out where you’re going to get the money from – will it be from a bank, government grants or alternative financing?


4. Gain a government contract

Did you know that the government spends over a quarter of its procurement budget with small and medium-sized enterprises? That equates to £11.4bn every single year.

The government needs the help of SMEs in every SME sector, from caters to construction to accountancy.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, check out the government’s Contract Finder. With this handy online search tool, you can search for contract opportunities in different sectors, find out what’s coming up in the future and look up details of previous tenders and contracts.

One way to increase your chances of acquiring a government contract – hire an apprentice. In August, David Cameron unveiled his transformation plans for the apprenticeship sector, including a requirement to take into account apprenticeship schemes when awarding businesses with large government accounts (contracts worth over £10m).

Employers’ bids will be reviewed in line with best practice for the number of apprentices that they expect to support.