If you have a run a successful retail business over the years, you have probably been thinking of what your next steps will be. It is natural for any entrepreneur to be looking ahead.
This instinct will still be there even if you have had a child and there is no reason for you not to take notice of it. Expanding your business while caring for a child is certainly no easy feat but, done with thought and consideration, it is possible.
This article looks at some of the ways that you can expand your retail business while you have a young child to care for.
Most importantly, there are a lot of different ways that you can expand your business. Some of these will require you to be physically present at new store sites and training new employees while others allow you to work from home for large parts of the expansion.
Think carefully about the way that you will expand your retail business so that you can make your workday suit you and your family’s needs. The time that you put into planning will pay off later.
Many retail businesses can expand without having to open new sites. You should consider whether you have optimised your online ecommerce options before you consider anything else.
By focusing on your online retail space, you will be able to reach a much larger customer base without having to refit a new space and train a new staff. You will have to spend time with an expert that will be able to optimise your website and get it in top shape. You will also need to get high quality images of all your products and get systems in place for orders to be filled. But once you have done that, you should be good to focus on your marketing.
Selling more products and expanding your business is all in the marketing. Take a critical look at your current marketing and identify areas that need to be improved. If you want to attract new customers, the only way to reach them is through marketing.
Get better at social media and content marketing. You need to have a clear strategy for your online activity that works to build an audience. Have you taken quality images that will stand out on Instagram? You could use your knowledge of the products that you sell to write meaningful content that will be of value to your customers.
While this may not sound like the expansion plans that you had in mind, building a strong content marketing plan can really boost sales and build an audience that will allow for organic growth. This strategy has the added bonus of not requiring large amounts of capital outlay or huge time investments allowing you to keep your child a priority while still achieving growth.
If your business is doing really well and you want to grow it, you can also do this through expanding what you offer to customers in your existing store. This will give you the change to increase sales while keeping the premises that you have currently.
The best way to do this is to look at what sells successfully in your shop and find similar or complimentary items. You should also try to get customer feedback on what they would like to see sold in your shop that is not there already.
Alternatively, you could offer a service alongside the products that you sell. For example, if you sell clothing, you could offer fittings and alterations.
If you are hoping to expand your business, don’t be focused on huge leaps forward if you are wanting to keep a balanced lifestyle. Look at the small changes and adjustments you can make to your business that will allow for slow but steady growth.
However, if you want to expand by buying a retail business that is already up and running and merging it with yours, this can me a way to take a bigger step forward. If you want to do this successfully while still keeping time for your duties as a mother, find a business that has a great staff and is well run so that you can be sure all the work won’t fall on you.
By Jo Thornley, Head of Brand and Partnerships at Dynamis. Joining in 2005 to co-ordinate PR and communications and produce editorial across all business brands. She earned her spurs managing the communications strategy and now creates and develops partnerships between BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com and likeminded companies.