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Growing Your Business

Now that you have the basics: location, funding and manpower, your next step is to determine what your growth options are. As said earlier, there is a lot of room for growth in the warehouse distribution business, particularly as more entrepreneurs seek to forego the hassle of having to come up with long needs lists and opt to hire middlemen to do the dirty work for them. You basically have three growth strategies: boosting your market share by trumping existing competitors, diversifying your goods and services and expanding via mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships.

In order for you to be able to snatch clients from your competitor, you will have to have a thor...

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...ough understanding of your target market and how your rival operates. You can start with identifying what your rival’s strengths and weaknesses are and comparing them with your own to see which areas you will need to improve to get ahead. You must also try to find out why certain customers prefer to do business with your competitor. Is it because they were established earlier than yours? Is it because they have a more attractive marketing campaign?

How does your rival communicate with your target consumer? You also have to determine what makes you unique among a number of other businesses in the industry and capitalize on this. Do you have shorter lead times? Do you offer special incentives? Is your customer assistance service more friendly and accommodating? Diversification can also be a great growth builder, especially given the narrowing world economy. Offer something fresh and new and don’t just stick to what you have been doing for the past years.

Give your target market a new thing to look forward to. If you’ve been in the steel distribution businesses for a number of years already, it might be time to introduce steel alternatives to your repertoire, to cater to a new market. Or, you might want to market your goods to other industries besides cars and infrastructure. Business growth is also driven by joining forces with ventures like or similar to yours. Through this strategy, you’ll be able to tap other companies’ networks and expand your presence in other areas.

Scan the market for merger opportunities. If your company is relatively small, you might agree to be acquired by a larger counterpart, but make sure you get to keep a significant stake, still, so you will maintain enough control over your business. Many business consultants say that you can be successful in business by copying. Not that you will copy the products and services of a successful business; you will copy their core characteristic, what is in them that make them big.

Also, since they “have been there, done that,” by modeling them, you will have the benefit of avoiding mishaps they’ve encountered during the early stages of the business. Remember that successful partnership doesn’t just happen. Only time can say if you had made it or not. But early on, you can veer your partnership towards success by contemplating and adopting in your partnership’s system the following characteristics of successful partnerships: A mission that is clearly stated, Shared goals, Trust, honesty, and candor among all partners,

A consistent presence within the organization Ongoing identification of additional resources An ongoing evaluation that provides data for planning, shows progress, and highlights problems, Collaborative planning opportunities, Clearly defined roles and relationships between individuals and between institutions with shared responsibility and leadership, A designated person responsible for moving the partnership forward, A leadership succession plan, and Retreats with facilitators to help the partners work through issues.

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