Expand Your Business Innovatively

Every business owner hopes to one day be successful enough to expand their business. That statement is only partly true. The misconception in the previous sentence is that business expansion takes a tremendous amount of money and is, therefore, something that should be put off. Granted, there was a time where expanding required a considerable amount of money to physically make your business bigger or to run major advertising campaigns. However, today, such an undertaking is no longer necessary to turn over a new source of profits. The fact is that today, business expansion can be done with little to no money and can generate huge profits for a growing business.

1. Create an affiliate program

What is an affiliate program? In the simplest explanation, an affiliate program is an online commission-based employment offer. Affiliates promote businesses, goods, etc. through numerous avenues (websites, social networks, word- of- mouth etc.) and are then paid a commission based on the pay guidelines that were agreed upon. When choosing to create an affiliate program to promote your business, you need to consider a number of factors to best fit the needs of your establishment.

Things to consider:

• Realistic budget taking into consideration the commission you will pay and the overall budget for the campaign
• Duration of the promotion
• What incentives will be given to affiliates, example: referrals paid $1.00; sales paid 5%, newsletter sign up $2.00. Remember to keep your overall budget in mind at all times.
• What parts of the business do you want promoted?
• What actions pay the commission? Actions can range from merely going to your website to subscribing to a newsletter to actually making a “sale.” This type of advertising is great because it is fully customizable.

Once you have decided these factors, you will need to create an affiliate page or use an online service which can “bring” affiliates to you and manage all the details of the program on your behalf. There needs to be an accurate system in place to track affiliate links and payable actions. Payment should be automatic on completion of the action.

Another angle you may consider is using your business website to promote other relative services that your business does not provide but would be beneficial to your website visitors. Just as you would pay when someone completes an action set forth in your affiliate program; your business would get paid just for displaying ads for things that your clients need, therefore, making your website more valuable to your clients and turning a profit effortlessly. Promoting other businesses, as an affiliate, is free to set up and requires minimal computer skills. It is basically “copying and pasting” ads.

2. Commission-based sales

As its brick-and-mortar counterpart, you can have commission-based sales representatives do the selling for you. Your business would then pay the reps based on the volume of sales they generated. This can be a great alternative to having a full time staff generating leads for you. These reps can work from home, on the phone or by the other means that will bring in business. This enables you to have numerous people working on behalf of your business but they are only paid if they actually make your business money.

The downside to this is that the market for people willing to work solely for commission is slim and you may experience a high employee turnover rate. Programs like this work especially well during the summer months when college students are looking for part-time work and for people looking to work from home. Create an effective model of how you want your services promoted and ensure that all reps are knowledgeable of what you do in your business. You never want to have people promoting services your business cannot deliver. That can have devastating effects on your growing business.

3. Franchisee model

In order for this model to work, your business must have a certain level of success in your area of expertise already. The success of your business should want others to run the same business in the same general manner. Create a plan of action, policy and practice as well as a “trademark look” and market your business franchise model. By selling a franchisee model, you allow someone else to use your company’s name and style of work in return for a franchise fee, as well as, continued revenue in order for them to continue to use the name and likeness of your business. This allows your business to grow at the expense of someone else and generates credibility to the success of your business and services.

4. Referral system

Offer clients rewards and/ or incentives for driving business in your direction. For even greater measure, also offer an incentive to the person who is referred. Using this as a customary rule can generate business all year long. All parties are happy and will continue to refer new clients to your business. People are always eager to share a great deal or opportunity with others. Encourage referrals by not placing limits on the number of referrals that can be made and instead using an escalating reward scale for high referral rates. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

5. Share in the company

Another great way to expand your business is by partnering with other local or relevant businesses or knowledgeable friends. However, create partnerships with caution. Research the other business and check their customer satisfaction. When utilized correctly, partnering can bring in a whole new onslaught of clients who can generate new client leads and renew incoming profits. You can even invite partnerships with one, two or more close friends (or other businesses) at a time that will not only bring in money and expertise, but also their own style of marketing. Partnerships can be a catalyst for business expansion.

There are many ways to promote and expand your business with minimal costs. However, what you save in money you will spend in time and effort; take your time to determine what would be best for your business. You can expand your business today.

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