If you’re looking to expand your business in order to reach a wider market, then you’re going to have to spend some money. The old saying, you have to spend money to make money, is particularly true in this circumstance, but the question is, where do you find the money you need and what is the best way to use it?
Take out a loan
The best way to finance your business expansion is to secure a business loan and there are a number of different types of loans available to SMEs. These include:
- Traditional bank loans – these often contain strict terms and conditions and can take some time to be approved.
- Micro loans – these are small, short term loans to businesses who do not qualify for a bank loan. Because they represent a higher risk to the insurer, the interest rates charged on such loans are also higher.
- Caveat loans – these are short-term loans that can be organised quickly (in hours rather than days with some lenders) and only require real estate ownership as collateral.
- Unsecured loans – these do not require assets as collateral, but borrowers often need high credit ratings to qualify.
- Revenue-based loans – these are loans with repayments tied to your future earnings, usually requiring a minimum number of EFTPOS or credit card sales per month to be eligible.
Increase your exposure
Once you’ve secured your loan, you need to decide the best way to increase your business exposure. There are a number of ways you can do this and the type of business you are in will dictate which method(s) will work best for you.
- Online – if you run an online business or have an online component to your bricks and mortar business, then you are already in the best place to promote it. Invest money in pay-per-click advertising such as Adwords, take out banner ads, employ a blog writer for your website, join discussion forums, get on Facebook and Twitter and generally get your business out there online.
- Yellow pages – still a tried and true method of getting the phone ringing. Now available online as well as in print, the Yellow Pages is expensive to buy into, but is invaluable for attracting customers in your local area. You will need to pay for an eye-catching ad though, as all your competitors are advertising on the same page as you.
- Branding – this is vital for getting your name out there. Have a catchy logo and slogan created and plaster them everywhere you can think of; on your company vehicles, uniforms, letterheads, signage, website and business cards. The initial design will cost you money, but if it’s good, it will continue to work for you over time.
- Sponsorship – another good investment for your business is in your local community. Sponsor local events, get your name on the jerseys of the local footy team, make your name a household word in your local area and you will create a loyal customer base.
Promoting your business to a wider audience takes money, time and effort, but if you secure the right small business loan and invest in those areas where you will get the best return for your money, then exposure and growth will inevitably follow.