Many people start their businesses with a local presence. It can be a great way to build a loyal customer base and connect with a local business community. But what happens when you think that it’s time to grow your business nationally or even internationally?
How can you start taking your business from a small, local presence and growing it into something more?
You might be especially worried if your business was built with a very local identity, and you’re not sure how that might affect your growth elsewhere. However, if you’re prepared to expand your business across the country, here are some tips that could be useful.
Make Use of Your Local Identity
If your brand identity is at least partly based on where your business began, you might be concerned about expanding it elsewhere. However, it certainly doesn’t have to be a bad thing. On the contrary, people often appreciate when a brand has a robust local identity in its original location. It helps to give your business a more authentic feel, making it a company that was started by real people in a real place and not just a faceless corporation that doesn’t have any meaning behind it. So lean into your business’s hometown rather than stepping away from it.
Target New Areas Online
Your online marketing is a great thing to start with if you want to expand your business. You may have been focusing on local SEO, but now you can begin to focus on targeting other locations. It can be an excellent way to start rolling out your brand across different areas, giving you control over how quickly you grow your business. Start by targeting nearby regions using your PPC ad targeting, social media marketing, or SEO content. It will help you to reach new customers and make it clear that you’re expanding.
Look for New Stockists
If you sell physical products or perhaps want to find new people to sell your products or services online, you need to find new stockists. This process could take a while, so it’s essential to get a plan in place as soon as you can. If you already have local business connections, you might be able to use them to find people who can sell your products further afield. Perhaps your local stockists may even have other branches elsewhere and could also be willing to stock your creations there.
Make Your Business Look Local (Even If It’s Not)
People can often respond better to a business that they feel is local or has a local presence. You might not plan to set up a new office or branch in every location that you want to expand to, but you can still create a local presence. One way to do this is to have local contact points for your customers to use. For example, you can use virtual phone numbers to ensure you have local phone numbers that you can use for customer service. People will appreciate that they can call a local number or see that you have a local address when they want to contact you.
Open a New Office/Branch/Store
It may take a lot more effort, but opening a new office, branch, or store in a new location is another way for you to expand your local business. This might be the right decision if your business relies on seeing customers face-to-face or being close to them. If you run a brick-and-mortar store, you can expand your business by also selling online. However, opening another store in a different location allows you to provide a more personal service that might be required to maintain the integrity of your brand. Opening a new site isn’t something you want to do lightly, but it could be a good move for your business.
Make Local Connections
Making local connections in new regions can help you to expand your business. You can connect with business people in the area andolved with the local community. Try to seek opportunities to get involved with local events or meet people in local businesses or even in local government. It’s a good idea to start making a name for yourself and your business in the locations where you want to expand. Set up local promotions within the community to encourage people to pay attention to your business, whether you want them to come to your store or visit your website to find out more about you.
Make Your Brand More Personal
If you’re trying to target various local areas, it’s a good idea to try and personalize your brand more. One way to do this is to put a face to your business, showing the humanity behind it. You can do this by showing photos and videos of you and your staff, which helps to offer your customers the people who keep your business running. Use this content on your website, social media pages and even business listings like your Google My Business listing. Make sure to keep it all up to date,, too, so that people know who to expect when they visit or get in touch.
Use Direct Mail and Flyers
Digital marketing can be beneficial when growing your business, but don’t discount more “traditional” promotion methods. For example, handing out flyers or sending direct mail can be great ways to promote your business in a new location. It allows you to target new customers in the local area, which is excellent if you want to concentrate on specific sites rather than simply opening up your business to the whole country. You can combine your marketing with promotions, too, letting people know about special offers or even giving them coupons or voucher codes to use.
If you want to grow your business across the country, start looking for ways to make an impression in new locations.