So business is booming and you’re ready to take things to the next level, but are you prepared to do so? Everyone needs transportation and you’re providing it to them, so it’s not as if the concept of expansion is entirely dangerous. That being said, there are a few things to consider before taking your dealership to a national level. After all, you don’t want to end up making a costly mistake that could actually hurt your business over all. If you’re looking to expand and unsure of how to make the move properly, here are five factors to keep in mind while breaking out of the local scene:
1. Target the Right Markets
Although you might be making a lot of money in your neighborhood, choosing the wrong locations for expansion could be a very costly decision. It will be incredibly important to research each of the areas you are considering when growing your business. If these areas are oversaturated or are places where dealerships don’t typically do well, you might want to think about choosing a different market. The most important factor to consider when targeting a market while expanding is the potential for profit. If there isn’t much potential, you won’t want to take that risk.
2. Deliver the Right Product
While you’re researching potential markets for expansion, it will be important to find out what customers in those locations expect from their dealership. Depending on the geography and culture of an area, their expectations for transportation are going to change. If you move to an area where a lot of physical labor is being done, you might find that trucks sell much better than traditional city cars. Conversely, if you’re moving your operations to a big city, you’ll want to consider stocking more economical options for your new customer base.
3. Don’t Ignore Your Home Market
While you’re busy going national, you’ll have to make sure that you don’t ignore the people who helped you to get where you are. There’s no reason to believe that they would shun you for wanting to make your business bigger, but if the level of service they expect should decrease at all, they might become upset and take their money elsewhere. You’ll need a strong home base if you plan to make a strong move towards expansion. Ensure that you can deliver the same level of service that has made your business so profitable before you make any effort to move forward.
4. Invest in National Communication
If you’re going to be growing your business beyond a local market, it will be important to ensure that potential customers can reach you no matter what the situation may be. If you’re taking your dealership to a national level, you’ll need a phone number that anyone in the world can remember. With the help of a vanity number or a toll free number, anyone will be able to reach you from any location. With the latest voice over technology, you can even have a vanity or toll free number linked directly to your VoIP system without much hassle. Investing in the right means of communication will be incredibly important if you’re seeking to reach a wider audience, but that doesn’t mean it’s a difficult decision.
5. Prepare for Any Eventuality
Perhaps more important than any other factor is the necessity to prepare for almost anything. It might seem like too much preparation can be a bad thing, but when you’re considering expansion, creating models for any possible result of your actions will be integral to your success. If things don’t work out how you want them to, you’ll need to have a backup plan and be prepared to handle failure without your business going under entirely. Create more than just one plan for success and include the possibilities for failure among them in order to account for every eventuality.
More so than anything, research and planning will be central to your ability to successfully expand. Making the move from local to national is a big step for any dealership, but with these concepts in mind, it should be much easier to make the tough decisions necessary to succeed.
As an online journalist with a passion for small business, Ivan Serrano’s writing often covers business expansion tactics and the process of globalization. As an online entrepreneur himself, he also enjoys discussing the role of start-up businesses in the economy and the impact of scalability.