Breaking into a new market or offering additional services could be exactly what your business needs to jump-start its growth. Check out four tips for helping your business find success in its next endeavor.
Chances are, you already know a thing or two about the decorated apparel market, but if you’re looking to grow or break into a new segment, it’s important to do your homework.
Find out the core demographics of your audience, especially if they will differ from your current customers. Decorated apparel trends tend to come and go pretty quickly, so you’ll want to determine if your next steps will lead you towards long-term growth.
Look to industry publications and thought leaders for guidance; they often have the resources to conduct top-notch research and are looking to share it. Another option is to poll your current customers. See if there are services they would like you to add or if there is anything else you can do to further meet their needs. Try quick online surveys for a more formal approach or just chat with them as they checkout for some ideas.
Examine the Costs
Breaking into a new market will most likely require you to offer additional services. When determining the potential costs, you’ll want to consider the necessary equipment, training, and additional staff. If those costs can eventually be recouped through the increase in business brought by the new service and market, start taking the next steps towards implementing the expansion.
One thing to keep in mind is the potential for financing. Equipment financing allows you to obtain the equipment you need without handing over a huge chunk of change. You can even structure the plan to defer the first few monthly payments allowing you to get the equipment fully operational before starting to pay.
Consider a Partnership
Teaming up with a partner that has some expertise in the area you're looking into can be a shortcut to success. Their knowledge combined with your finances, reputation, or resources can lead to faster growth. The tricky part is finding a partner you can trust with the skills you need. If you can’t think of someone you already know, try looking on sites like LinkedIn. You may be surprised how many experts are in your area. At the very least, you might be able to solicit some free advice!
If you’re not interested in a partnership, you’ll need to make sure your team is prepared for the new work and potential increase in business. Provide proper training and give staff time to adjust. You may even want start looking to add employees with experience in the new market. They can offer additional guidance and help to train your current staff.
Outline Your Goals
The first step to accomplishing your business goals is to set them. While you work to break into the new markets, you need to understand what exactly you are trying to do and how you will evaluate success.
Let’s say your company traditionally offers screen printing services to teams and groups. Now, you’re looking to start expanding and want to offer custom promotional items. You decide your goal is to increase profits by 5% within the next six months. You’ll then determine how many units you need to sell to hit the 5% profit growth. You now have a tangible goal and a way to track your progress and success.
Make sure everything you are doing is working towards your goals and monitor the progress. Don’t be afraid to switch gears or amp up your marketing if things aren’t progressing as you thought. It may take time to establish the correct prices and processes.