4 Tips to Grow Your Small Business to New Cities

In some ways, taking your small business into a new city can feel like starting an entirely new business. There’s an element of truth to that.

Expanding into a new market takes time, energy, and drive, just like starting your business at home did. It can be intimidating, especially for new business owners, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these steps to set yourself up for success and take your business to the next level.

Know your market

Whether you are a seasoned business owner or a new entrepreneur, the first step of growing your business to a new city is to learn all you can about your target market. Even between cities of similar size, each location is different and will interact with your business differently. So do your research!

What demographics are you hoping to focus on? Are there similar companies in the area that might compete with your business? How can you make yourself stand out from the crowd? What does the money landscape look like? For example, the hard money lenders El Paso TX has available might be very different from those in Miami FL. These are the questions that you need to answer in order to ensure a smooth expansion process.

Get familiar with local business law

Each and every city has its own unique set of laws and ordinances that business owners have to follow. Though it may be a headache to wade through the red tape, it is especially important to get the correct local licenses and certifications upfront to avoid audits down the line.

Another thing to consider as you expand is what you need to do in order to take on employees. Taking on workers can help reduce your personal stress and help you to avoid burnout as your business grows. Of course, this comes with its own set of federal and local regulations, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the law and invest in good insurance to protect yourself from liability.

familiar with local business law

Utilize your client base to make connections

In the months leading up to opening in the new city, you can lay the groundwork for a successful opening by making connections ahead of time. If you already have an established list of clients in your hometown, take advantage of any connections that they might have in your target city.

This helps you in two ways. First, it allows you to build key relationships in your new location, with clients and community leaders. Second, it provides a built-in reference for new clients by having a current client vouch for your professional competency.

You can incentivize these connections by offering a referral discount, or even running a contest, where the customer with the most referrals wins a small prize package. This costs you relatively little as the business owner but can produce a big payoff for your company.

Marketing is key

After you’ve done your research and set your business up legally in the new location, it’s time to build your customer base. To start yourself off on the right foot, you need a great marketing plan.

Trying to target young people? Create an engaging social media campaign, or give out samples near a local college campus. For older crowds, look to radio, TV, or even direct mail. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box a little! The more creative you are, the more memorable your business will be, and the more new customers you can connect with.

As an entrepreneur, you have to confront challenges and solve problems on a daily basis. The same will be true when expanding into a new city. While the process can be stressful, it will likely be more than worth it when the profits start rolling in.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan