Would you believe me if I told you names like Facebook, Apple, Walt Disney, Spanx, and Amazon started as SMEs?
Large as those companies may be today, they were nothing more than ordinary small businesses some years back.
So what changed?
A lot, I’m going to say.
I know you, too, dream about transforming your small business into a large enterprise one day.
Well, time to stop dreaming. Here are some tips to help you execute the transformation.
1. Increase your customer base
One of the biggest similarities that all large companies share is that they have a large customer base.
Look at Amazon; it currently has over 70+ customers. Facebook has over 2.7 billion. Even the popular SEO Company Markham SemRush has over 6 million customers.
In order to transform your small SME into a large enterprise, you too need a large customer base.
I believe you know a trick or two you can use to attract customers to your small business?
Some of the few ones that come to mind include referrals, improved marketing, lowered cost, freebies and bonuses, networking, re-attracting old customers, and partnering with complementary businesses.
As you know, it’s possible to try these tricks and not get customers immediately. But when you try your best and don’t succeed, don’t give up. Try again.
2. Take your business to the world
The biggest difference between a small business and a large business is in the area of their target audiences.
While a small business is okay with a local or a small group of audience, a large enterprise goes for the entire country and beyond.
To transform your small business into something big, this is another strategy to execute. To take your business to the world, here are a few tricks you can try:
- Attend or launch trade shows often: Trade shows draw in people from far and wide, all of whom are already interested in your type of business.
- Expand to exporting: Another way to go big is to start selling overseas. Make sure you weigh your strengths and weaknesses well before venturing into exportation.
- Embrace digitalization: Take your business to the world by selling online, advertising online, and leveraging every digital opportunity out there. A digital tech company like San Jose SEO Company can help you get started on the digital front.
3. Diversify your offerings
If you look at every large business around today, you’ll notice that most of them have taken up new products or services different from the ones they started with.
For example, Apple started with computer electronics, but now they sell phones and headsets. Microsoft started as an operating system (OS) company but later started selling office solutions like spreadsheets, mail programs, etc.
If you, too, want to grow into a large business, think of how you can diversify your offerings.
In case you don’t know what you can sell that’s different from what you’re currently offering, follow these steps:
- Focus on products/services related to the ones you already sell that address the needs of the customers you already serve.
- Focus on new market segments with similar needs and characteristics to your existing customers.
Let’s say you’re an online tourism service that helps people book hotels only; you can diversify into offering car, flight, or meal services for tourists in their target destinations.
4. Try franchising
Franchising is another huge similarity that large conglomerates share
In fact, there are too many franchises scattered across the globe than I can begin to count; from Taco Bell to 7-Eleven, Dunkin’ to the UPS Store, Sonic Drive-In to Great Clips, and on and on.
As defined by Wikipedia, “a franchisor (you) licenses its know-how, procedures, intellectual property, use of its business model, brand, and rights to sell its branded products and services to a franchisee (anyone coming to partner with you).”
Usually, in this system of business, the franchisee pays a royalty and often an initial fee for the right to do business under the franchisor’s name and system.
By and large, franchising allows you to expand your market reach to new locations, create broader name recognition, and create new revenue from franchise licenses and locations.
Stuff of the big boys, right?
5. Orchestrate a merger or acquisition
Another way is to merge with or acquire another company. Provided you have the financial muscle to do so, of course.
When a business has outgrown its current environments, scaling into a bigger business system becomes inevitable. And acquisition or merger helps you achieve that.
Just look at Facebook acquiring Instagram and Whatsapp or Google acquiring YouTube.
The owners of those businesses saw an opportunity, and they took it.
For example, Facebook acquired Instagram and Whatsapp not because they were direct competitors but mainly because they saw those two as opportunities to grow their brand further.
Google, on the other hand, acquired a direct competition in YouTube. That way, they didn’t only kill off the competition, but they also grew in the process.
In the same vein, you can look for competitors in your industry that are there for the taking and acquire them. It will give you command in the industry and will make your overall business operation larger.
In case opportunities for acquisition are hard to come by, approach complementary businesses to propose a merger.
6. Team up with a larger company
Another option is to join forces with a larger company. This makes sense in the instance your business isn’t built for a merger, and you can’t afford acquisition.
Big companies have the footprint and resources required for growth, including manufacturing facilities, distribution channels, and a proven supply chain. Though it might be tough negotiating with larger partners, many can be enticed by deals that pay a fee per sale.
Alternatively, you can approach a larger company with a deal offering your business up as an affiliate (an associate). In this system, your business brings income, referrals, or customers to theirs, and in return, they give you what you need – be it growth, expansion, or direct payment for your service.
Pro Tip: Here are the best affiliate programs around!