The Grass May Really Be GreenerThe Grass May Really Be Greener: The Pros, Cons and Steps of Growing Your Out of Town Business
For years, you have been running your successful business in your local market. You are well known, respected and successful. But will your business stay healthy and growing by staying local? Whether your local market is healthy or not, and regardless of your market saturation within your home town, there are a lot of good reasons to expand your business outside of your comfort zone.
Consider the following:
Negatives and Challenges
- Your local business is impacted by regional characteristics such as its leadership and major industries. If you aren’t comfortable your business should be, then you should diversify it away from any one single source of regional influence.
- Candidly, wasn’t it your choice to segment your business geographically, not your potential customers’? There are surely as many people outside of your radius who need you as within.
- Doing business outside of your home teaches you how to apply your Best and Highest Use and forces you to rejuvenate your business and your ability to provide premium value.
- Upon returning home, you will have new ideas and experiences that your customers will value and give you greater credibility.
Of course, there are negatives and challenges to doing business away from home or more owners would be doing so. These are:
Five Key Steps
- It’s expensive in terms of money, energy and ego.
- Unless you’ve cloned yourself, your time outside of your market means neglecting local clients.
- You won’t win if you’re simply swapping out new business for old.
- You are likely to stumble and experience false starts in unfamiliar territory.
- You may see that how you sell may not be how your new region’s prospects will buy.
- Your current networks and circles of influence will not transfer and need to be rebuilt in the new territory.
- The cost of delivering your products and services will be higher and may require you to change the very core of what you sell and how you sell it.
So with these significant pros and cons, how can you get started? Here are five key steps:
- Look for a culturally similar region where your Best and Highest Use will apply to actual prospects and situations just like the ones have locally. Don’t assume that an adjacent state is the logical new market as it may turn out your best prospects are far from home.
- Skim the cream. Don’t penetrate the market. Find low hanging fruit in terms of first opportunities.
- Invest heavily in viral networking through human and online connections. Use PR to leverage your aura.
- Build champions. Recognize every account is a reference account and be as flexible in working with them as you did when you first grew your business. Your early champions are critical in growing your out of town business.
- Take big chances in smaller markets. It’s okay to stub your toe in Topeka but probably not in your Big Apple.
Doing business away from home is imperative in a world of no boundaries. As Thomas Friedman says, “The World is Flat.” Don’t assume it ends at your county line. As long as you can apply your Best and Highest use to serve new clients, how can you go wrong? Worst case, your new stories of fumbling and failure on the way to fame and fortune will be novel and interesting to those in your hometown!
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© Copyrighted by Andrew J. Birol, President of Birol Growth Consulting, who helps owners grow their businesses by growing their Best and Highest Use ®. Andy can be reached at (412) 973-2080, by email at email@example.com, or on the web at www.andybirol.com.