Business expansion during a pandemic is challenging, especially if the market is still recovering from the effects of an economic downturn. The US real gross domestic product (GDP) declined significantly in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the previous quarter after the pandemic saw businesses closing across the country.
The situation has improved over a year after the health crisis started as the increase of the real GDP reflected increased consumer spending, investments, and government spending. Even with the recovery, businesses should consider several factors in their expansion plans to increase the chances of success. Here are the things that businesses should take into account when they’re planning to expand.
Monitor the Metrics
Businesses should monitor the metrics in their industries. These metrics show the long-term effect of the crisis on the industry. While businesses should also look into their metrics, they should also look into what is happening in their industry.
If these businesses see an increase in overall revenue in the industry, they can start planning their expansion since it demonstrates the resiliency of their market. In this situation, businesses have bigger chances of successfully expanding and increasing their share of the market.
Review Marketing Strategies
Businesses should also review the marketing strategies they are using. Before the pandemic, businesses implemented traditional marketing strategies, such as flyers and brochures, print ads, and billboards. But the pandemic compelled businesses to focus on digital marketing since their customers started to shop online.
After increasing their online presence, they should check if their digital marketing strategies reached their target market. With many competitors in the market, businesses should also look for a unique selling proposition to make them appealing to their customers.
Even as marketing products in the market requires a sizeable investment, businesses should look for other means of convincing the market to patronize their products. They can focus on social media marketing. Businesses can also provide excellent customer service so their customers will recommend them to their family and friends.
Check the Gaps in the Business
Businesses should also check if they have gaps that they can fill, particularly regarding staffing. When a business expands, it creates open positions that deal with new transactions brought by new customers in the market. Businesses can even create positions to help them in their expansion plans.
For instance, a business can create an in-house digital marketing team to easily pivot its marketing efforts without having to deal with a third-party vendor. In this situation, the business needs to hire digital marketers, social media marketers, content writers, and search engine optimizations specialists.
To find the best talent in the market, businesses should conduct pre-employment skills testing for all applicants. The test results will show whether an applicant is fit for the role he is applying for. It also allows businesses to know if the applicant has the skill set and mental aptitude to help the company to grow.
Filling these gaps allows businesses to operate without a hitch and increases their chances of succeeding in expanding the market. Businesses can even check their competitors and find out what they are doing right. They can improve on these practices and make sure someone within the organization is on top of it.
Prioritizing the Customers
Businesses should always prioritize the needs and wants of their customers. They should focus on providing quality customer service to retain their existing customers. These existing customers will help them in their marketing efforts through word-of-mouth marketing. In this situation, these customers will convince their family and friends to patronize the business since they experienced excellent customer service and were satisfied with their products and services.
Businesses can also run incentive or loyalty programs for their customers so they’ll remain loyal to them. They can also adapt some products and services to suit the needs of their customers. And they can provide after-sales service to demonstrate their eagerness to help their customers.
Look for Potential Partners
Working with other businesses can help a business expand as long as the business it works with is not a competitor. The business should provide a value proposition that is appealing to both parties, and the partnership should be a win-win arrangement for the businesses involved.
For instance, a construction supply business can work with a real estate developer. The supplier can give the developer discounts for the materials they need to work on their projects. It benefits both parties since the supplier will have a ready market for its products while the developer can save on the materials it needs.
Taking these factors into account can increase the chances of a business succeeding with its expansion plans.