After one year in business, you may have established a solid presence in your local markets. This may involve the foundation for a loyal customer base, an optimized supply chain or an extensive networking circle with the potential for great recommendations. While there still may be a few bumps in the road this early in your new business’s tenure, obstacles will never fully recede into the rearview mirror entirely. Even with some hurdles at this point, it could be a good idea to begin looking at other markets to grow into.
By identifying markets you haven’t entered yet, you are priming your small business to capitalize on the sales potential inherent in the new customers. You don’t necessarily have to target these individuals immediately, but since you want your small business to find growth opportunities, it’s wise to have a plan in place for when it’s time to spread your wings and find new markets.
Break down your market segments
Even before the grand opening, owners should have conducted market research of some sort and broken down the results into different segments. Depending on the industry, location and type of business, market segments can be broken down in a number of categories. The more nuanced and focused the market segmentation, the more pinpoint the marketing efforts can be.
As noted by Marketing91, there are four main segments marketing professionals use to classify different aspects of the market, including, but not limited to:
1. Geography uses physical location.
2. Behavior uses past purchases, usage and decision-making patterns.
3. Demographic uses gender, family size, income, religion, race, religion or nationality.
4. Psychographic uses lifestyle, opinions, activities and interests.
Breaking down a customer base into different segments provides details on new markets that may be worthwhile to investigate, and even subsequently expanding into.
Play Pokemon Go
One of the trendiest games of the year and the biggest buzzword of the summer has been Pokemon Go. This mobile app utilizes GPS and the smartphone camera to augment the reality around the player, who can then “catch” digital Pokemon creatures throughout his or her neighborhood. In addition, since the game tracks to the real-world terrain, there are “PokeStops” players use to replenish their supplies, which are based on actual local and historical landmarks and buildings. The very purpose of the game is to get players out and about to explore their neighborhoods.
The game blew up this summer, and now kids, young adults and anyone looking to have fun in their community, have jumped on the bandwagon. As noted by Business2Community, already 75 million users have downloaded the game, and it has been reportedly earning $1.7 million every day. Now you might be asking, “What does this game have to do with my small business? We’re not a mobile app developer.”
Well, with the way the “PokeStops” use real-life buildings, shops and institutions to provide assistance to people in the game, small businesses have the potential to sell lures and other in-game features that will draw users to your location. As Business2Community noted, cafes are giving free in-game prizes after customers buy so many coffees, and other promotions aimed at attracting these potential new customers.
While this mobile app might seem like a passing fad, the augmented reality aspect of the game will most likely transfer over to a variety of other implementations as well.
If this trend seems like nothing but the stuff of students and teenagers, it’s because the popularity is an exemplification of the massive millennial demographic pushing its weight around. This can be a great way of segmenting the millennial market, which now makes up the largest shopping bloc in the country.
Many companies have been utilizing tried and true methods for maintaining steady growth throughout the business. However, older processes might involve using methods that might not be environmentally sound.
Dry cleaners are a good example of this. Business may be booming, but there could be a way to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly way of going through the garment-cleaning processes.
While there are plenty of ethical and moral reasons businesses should consider going green, the prime driver of any major shift for a company ultimately revolves about boosting profit margins. Well, going green can do just that. By making the shift to more environmentally sound operations, businesses can attract customers based on their psychological preferences, such as opinions, interests and lifestyles.
According to Nielsen, 55 percent of millennials are willing to pay more for products and services that come from sustainable and ecologically conscious companies. Further, 51 percent of baby boomers would pay a higher price for the same.
It might take an initial investment to transform your company into a more sustainable enterprise, and thankfully a small business loan from an alternative lender can be the funding source you need to truly capitalize on a new market.