How to Expand Your Business Regionally As A Priority
Global expansion is important, but it shouldn't be your first priority if you're just getting started. You may want to postpone international expansion considerations until your business can build profitability in its local area. Instead, focus on building your local reputation, strengthening your local connection with customers, and establishing yourself as an area leader in your industry before moving on to the next level. Here are five ways to expand your business regionally before looking abroad.
Why You Need A Local Website First
Before you start to expand, there are a few things to consider regarding your SEO strategy. In many cases (unless you have an e-Commerce site), it may be more meaningful to expand your local SEO strategy first, focusing on how to increase sales and revenue in your local region. Indeed, expanding locally may mean different things from a website's perspective:
Switching to a .com website if you have a local domain and face many competitors
Starting with a localized .com and then expanding to further regions (hence, maintaining your SEO efforts)
Creating international subdomains that can be attached to your initial domain and benefit from your existing SEO results
Local SEO can also include your presence on Google Maps to attract local footfall.
Build Trust in Your Home Region
When establishing your business regionally, the first thing you want to do is build trust with your local community. Indeed, a strong local reputation will be instrumental in building your expansion and reaching out to a bigger market later. The lessons you learn to manage your local reputation also apply internationally.
The choice of your ad placement is crucial, as you don't want to be affiliated with poor quality or controversial content. Make sure to research your advertising partners and sponsors carefully. This skill set can save both your regional and international reputation.
Make Decisions with Customer Feedback
It's not enough just to ask for customer feedback, you need to listen. You may have the best product in your field, but without a way of knowing how people use it, you'll never know if it's what they really want. In order to make decisions with customer feedback, look at your bottom line and consider these three factors: profit loss, your standing in the community, and social media interaction.
Your customers are a lot more vocal than you think, even if you don't run regular customer surveys. Their reviews on Google or in your online shop can reveal a lot about their expectations. Bear in mind that these expectations may vary when you reach a new market. Keeping a close interaction with your customers will ensure you can gain insight into their needs, wants, and unique cultural backgrounds.
Focus on Word-of-Mouth Advertising
Word-of-mouth advertising is a great way for small businesses to expand locally. It's inexpensive, it builds trust, and it's personal. The best part about word-of-mouth advertising is that you don't have to market your company very hard at all. All you need are satisfied customers who are willing to share their experiences with their friends and contacts.
When moving to a bigger market, you can turn word-of-mouth into advocacy campaigns, filming testimonials and reviews, and even reaching out to influencers.
Your local presence acts as the foundation for growth. Whether you wish to expand nationally or internationally, it makes sense to build the next business level on top of sturdy and reliable local foundation works.