How to Go From Passion to Prosperity
Something that was once a hobby that you shared with family and friends has now become a steady, home-based business. Your homemade caramels are now the talk of the town, and you are regularly selling to vendors in the area. People are calling for more. You are now at a point where you must make some critical choices about where you see your business going. Are you going to continue to contain your business within your four comfortable walls at home, or do you have the itch to expand? How on earth are you planning on getting from home kitchen to industrial empire? Making the transition from home based to small business is no easy task.
How does one expand business beyond the home? How does a home-based endeavour become a thriving business? You’ve read and otherwise heard the stories about this dream happening to others! The process involves slow and steady steps toward expansion, all while balancing time and revenue, to make sure that your current capabilities can handle requests for business. The following information gives you valuable tips on how to take your business to new heights without sacrificing profitability or your sanity.
Focus On One Product When Starting
Your focus, when starting to expand your business, should be developing one exceptional product or service, and mastering the art of marketing that to your clients. There will be time to differentiate as you gain a solid foothold in the market; become noticeable by initially doing one thing really well. As your client list grows, so can your list of products and offerings.
In preparing this article, I decided to profile a company that has checked all the boxes from starting at the passion and advancing to prosperity for many more people than just the owners. “All we set out to do initially was to have a successful mobile text marketing business,” reflects Jeff Peltin, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at MaxGroup Business Solutions of Surprise, Arizona. He continues, “Now we are a top leader in the nation for text marketing, website design, mobile menu-driven sites, SEO, press releases, publishing and other services providing brand creation, marketing and management for our clients. Who knew?”
Expand To Offer Related and Complementary Products and Services
Once you have your customers hooked, feel free to diversify and offer products and services that either enhance their past purchases or complement them in some way. If your initial product is a line of organic cotton infant pyjamas, you might want to add complementary products such as receiving blankets, bath towels, and natural material soft toys for babies as well. Chances are, if you have provided a product or service that was satisfactory before, customers will return to see what else you are offering.
Increase Sales to Your Already Existing Customers
Maintaining quality relationships with existing customers is always more cost-effective than trying to find new business. While it is important to focus on new business as part of your expansion, your best advertisement is word of mouth recommendations from existing clients. Using services like email notifications, SMS text marketing, and other advertising strategies that are low cost and high volume will help you maintain connections with the people that you regularly do business. The more you reach out using these tools, the more likely you will be to see repeat business.
Mark Skovron, PhD., MPsyD., Co-Founder and CEO at MaxGroup companies is amazed, “It comes down to a moment and paying attention to the right things. We had an independent rep team that broke 100 new clients a month in our first year for mobile text marketing, and that was awesome. But the reps kept asking us on behalf of the clients that they were finding of other services. So the moment came when we, along with our top earners—and our leaders at the home office considered, do we want to refer business, or is it smart for us to simply provide these complimentary products ourselves?”
Turn Friends Or Family Into Employees For Tax Benefits
The simple act of hiring friends or family as employees will not only increase your cash flow by freeing up valuable time and resources; it will provide you tax benefits as well. Bringing in outside help will also give you viewpoints and perspectives from someone other than yourself, which can lead to breakthroughs in planning and execution. Two heads are often better than one.
Hiring family members as part of your business is a smart tax decision as well. The salaries you pay your employees may be deducted from your overall income as a legitimate business expense. By reducing your overall income, you will be reducing the portion of that revenue you are responsible for paying taxes.
Create A Strong Web Presence With A Website And Online Footprint
It is no longer a necessity to have a physical storefront to make money. Many successful businesses are managed solely online, reducing many traditional business expenses normally incurred by a physical business location. Web-based shopping opens you up to millions of potential customers searching for your products and services.
Also, if you know who to go to create a strong web advertising campaign, you have just increased your profits exponentially. Companies that specialise in SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, have formed for the express purpose of making sure that you can be found on the immensity of the internet. With over an estimated one billion websites in existence in cyberspace, creating a name for oneself is extremely challenging unless you have the proper tools and exposure. If your business budget allows, consider this a necessary expense as part of expanding your business.
Join Forces with Other Local Business to Maximize Exposure
If your business specialises in making high-quality spa care products, partnering with the local health club to sell your product is an excellent way to maintain solid business connections within the community and boost business for both of you. Offering discounts on other products and services as a thank you for buying your product is a way to give back to businesses willing to share profits with you; it’s a win-win situation for all involved.
Expand Your Target Audience
If your original audience is toward parents of young children, for example, consider adding products to your line that is specific to teens and young adults. Products that are related and complementary to your original idea communicate the message that your business continues to expand and grow, with new interests and ideas developing continually.
Find New Locations To House Your Business
Initially, the cost of finding and renting new space will be a large investment; a risky step for anyone wishing to take their business to the next level. Finding and sharing space with another entrepreneur is one way to bridge the gap between home and small business, and this reduces both cost and risk for business partners. Firms are offering temporary office space for new business owners that specialise in contracting existing spaces on short-term leases; if you find that a physical location is not working out, there is no need to sweat out a building purchase or a long-term lease contract. “Try before you buy” is a lower risk option when considering expansion to a physical location.
Think About Franchising, Or Duplicating Your Business
Is your system duplicable? Have you set systems in place that can be closely copied, with similar results? If so, then consider franchising your business. Being able to open in multiple locations using effective systems of operation will allow you to relax a bit and let the profits come rolling in. Make sure your location and all its systems is up and running smoothly first, then find people that you can hire and train to use your systems of success.
Being able to start and run a small business successfully is a most rewarding career. Having the opportunity to take a hobby, passion, or calling and make it a lifelong stream of income will ensure that you feel energised and fulfilled in your work. The most successful expansions continue as their leaders continue to learn and grow in their pursuits. Never stop learning, planning, and growing. Focus on how your product or service will benefit others, and build with the customer, and your relationship with that customer, as the driving force behind your efforts. Find passion behind your “why”, and the “how” will come together as you build a network of relationships that will benefit you and your empire for years to come.
“It’s been almost ten years since we launched MaxGroup Business Solutions with a simple tri-fold brochure that explained the need for mobile text marketing. We set the pricing for ourselves in the middle of existing companies in the space and made damn sure we bested everyone regarding two things—rep compensation and client customer service. Today, with two interwoven companies, and preparing to launch a third MaxGroup company in 2018, we are at over a dozen products and services, 2,000+ reps and over 100 HQ teammates, Skovron continues. “But the pinnacle is this—we’ve never changed our priorities. We deliver the best value for a fair price and the most attentive client experience in the business, and we always squeeze every dollar to pay our reps in the field the most compensation for what they are doing. After ten years, we are more excited than ever and consider that everything up until now was practice.”
So, it would appear that a passion or a hobby, or just a break-out idea can become an empire. Most people, however, just never even try, so with no risk can come to no reward. Out of those who try, entrepreneurs usually don’t plan things out or design poorly. But the only way to find out how far you can go with your endeavour is to put your foot on the path and give it 100% because unless you are willing to risk the unusual, you will always be settling for the ordinary.
MaxGroup Business Solutions, LLC and MaxGroup Media are based in Surprise, AZ. The companies are experts in the space of digital creation, branding, marketing and reputation management. Their clients include everyone from small business to Fortune 500 and the Federal Government. More information can be viewed at: https://www.maxgroupbusiness.com/.
The SmallBizRising Blog is designed to be an educational content hub pulling information, best practices and practical advice for the small business owner and features topics including accounting, marketing, technology and more. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as it is posted. The blog was created by The Neat Company and receives contributed content from a group of contributing companies that provide technology, services and solutions to small businesses.