How to Expand Your Online Business

Are you ready to expand your ecommerce business?

For some, the opportunity arises when sales go through the roof unexpectedly.  But more often than not, it is a planned, sustainable strategy that leads to an eventual growth in business.

Whether it’s unexpected growth or a predetermined strategy, an expanding business brings with it new challenges.  Small business owners must be prepared for increasing sales and managing the growth.  Growing a business is a bumpy-ride full of surprises, so it is important to have growth strategies already in place.

To create a sustainable growth strategy, a business owner should have a plan in place for each of the following:

Forecasting Growth Opportunities

Now that you’ve got your ecommerce business up and running, you will need to shift gears and look forward to the future while still focusing on your current business.  Taking the time to develop a strategic forecast for growth opportunities is an essential part of expanding your business.  Start by asking yourself these forward-thinking questions:

  • What opportunities are available for your business to increase its sales?
  • How will you reach new customers?
  • What will your business look like in the future?
  • Where do you want your business to be financially in five years?
  • What’s the ideal position for your business to be in, in order to reach these goals?

By taking a forward-thinking approach to your growth strategy, you will likely see new opportunities that you might not have seen otherwise.  Most importantly, set goals of where you’d like to see your business each year for the next five years.

Develop a Marketing Strategy

Once you have determined the growth opportunities available to your business, it’s time to start developing a marketing plan to reach those goals.  There is an overwhelming amount of marketing opportunities for ecommerce businesses, so it is best to stick with just a few that make the most sense for your specific business and growth plan.

Here are just a few marketing strategies to consider:

  • PPC
  • Paid Advertisements
  • Social Media
  • SEO
  • Email Campaigns

Planning for Scalability

It is vital that you have a secure and scalable platform for your ecommerce business in order for it to expand.  Think about the future needs that your business may have.  For example, are there product limits on the software that you are currently using?  Can it be easily upgraded as your business expands?

You wouldn’t want your website to crash when you’re sales start rolling in from your new marketing strategies.  Reduce the risk by planning ahead for scalability needs that your business might have in the future.

Operational Procedures to Scale

While packaging your orders by hand might not be a problem right now, you will need to prepare a more robust fulfillment system for your business’ expansion.  Often times, outsourcing fulfillment will help you grow your business.  It will save you valuable time and energy that can be better spent on growing your business.

In summary, expanding a business brings with it exciting opportunities, but it is certainly not a simple undertaking.  For those who have the drive within them to start their own business, there will most definitely be a drive to make that business grow. Planning in advance will certainly help the expansion go much smoother and keep your business a lot more stable.