Market Expansion 101: Venturing Into New Markets

Business is booming. You've acquired a firm grasp on the marketplace that your company resides in and are looking to take advantage of it.

What's the best thing to do during success? Expand. Grow.

Finding a new market to dive into will create more depth to your company and brand. You're looking to remove the “niche master” title that's associated with your company and show the world you're a force to be reckoned with.

There are several things you need to do to prepare for this next phase of market expansion.

Here are a few ways you can start compiling research for the journey ahead and keep your tradition of success.

1. Self-Assess Your Current Strategy

The best thing that you can learn about your business before stepping into an entirely different market is seeing what you've done right.

What strategies can you implement into the new marketing strategy as you brace for the next adventure?

A best practice for this is to perform a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) of your company. Familiarize yourself with what works best and what needs improvements.

Jumping into an entirely new market will bring your weaknesses to the forefront.

You won't want to be blindsided by them as you try to gain ground in a new marketplace. Know them ahead of time and set some goals to rid yourself of said weaknesses.

Not sure where to begin on this step? Start with monitoring your customer reviews, they'll inform you of the strengths and weaknesses you didn't even know you had.

2. Compile Detailed Research on the Market Itself

To start your research, you'll want to take a hard look at the market you're pushing yourself into.

Several questions need to be answered in order for you to gain an understanding of the clientele you'll be pushing your product to.

What's the demographic of a typical consumer in that market? Are certain locations more beneficial than others? What hobbies and interests do they have that you can appeal to?

Gain a firm understanding of these and create a buyer persona for your new market based on the research you've found.

This buyer persona that you create will play an integral part in how you market to your new customers and the techniques you incorporate to do so. Ultimately, a well-defined buyer persona will help make a seamless transition to the new market.

3. Understand the Competition

It's almost as important to know who you'll be competing against as it is to know what you'll be competing for.

You might think that the competition has an advantage for you because they're already in your desired market. However, look at it this way: they have no idea that you're considering moving into the market they're in.

That gives your company an advantage to attack them with the element of surprise!

You need to dedicate a fair amount of time to researching the details of your competition.

Get inside their heads… What are their social media techniques? how are they getting in front of their consumers? What experience do their employees have that they're benefitting from?

They've done a bang-up job of taking a good portion of the marketplace you're wanting to tap into. How can you beat them at their own game? What can you do better than them?

Getting a firm understanding of your future competition will help you when it comes time to develop a business strategy.

4. Strategize Your Market Entry

Yes, you're only in the researching phase of considering the jump to a new market, but it's never too early to start planning.

Now that you've seen the desired market you'd like to engage in and the consumer habits of those in it… you should entertain ways that you'd enter it.

First impressions are key, and you'll want to make a dynamic one in order to disrupt the current flow of the said market. Consider the resources you have to use when first branching out into the new market.

How can you capitalize on the tools you have? Are there any trends in your new market's competitors that you don't currently have?

Set a budget for what you find. How much is all of this going to cost? Is it worth it?

While market expansion is an exciting time, you don't want to jump on it too quickly. Use the research you've comprised and create a detailed market entry plan based off of it.

5. Look at Your Current Business Model

Now that you have the details of your new buyer persona, the competition, and your ideal new market, it's time to look internally.

How does your current business model align with the research that you've found?

Certain factors of your business model, such as distribution, pricing, and advertising may need to be altered to cater to the new market.

You're essentially starting over once you branch out to a new market. Be prepared to repeat the success you've had with the current market that you're in.

Don't Take Market Expansion Lightly

Your company and its products have had yielded a high success rate, but market expansion is a completely different animal.

Fortunately, there are things you can learn from your approach to the market you're currently in to set yourself up for success.

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