Expanding a corporation isn’t like just growing a small business. There are huge hurdles to overcome and they can leave CEOs feeling tapped out and unsure of what direction to go in. When you add in additional considerations when you want to expand to a new city, the weight of everything gets compounded. There are many different solutions to a problem, and the best CEOs already know this. But when you’re getting ready to or considering expansion into a new city, here are some strategies that can help.
If your internal team isn’t skilled enough to handle a large-scale move like an expansion, that’s okay. You can always hire outside firms to help you leverage the right kinds of advertising as you get ready to move into a new city. Creating media to go on OOH Billboards, on the sides of buses, and even in phone booth kiosks can help develop brand awareness and that your business will be coming to town. This helps especially if you’ll need to hire locals to work in the new location as well. Advertising is a powerful tool for your growing company and being generous with your ad budget during an expansion is especially important.
Expanding is so much more than getting a new office and filling it with people. There are many moving parts to expand into a big city. There may be legal costs, costs associated with zoning, training costs, technology costs, and so much more. When you think you’ve identified every single cost, there are probably more. Time is a cost as well and it’s critical to remember that your time is valuable. As you evaluate when to move into a new city, make sure you connect with local zoning officials to ensure you follow all of the guidelines as well.
With great risk (and expense) comes great reward. Getting your business into a new market, creating a satellite office, and even creating a virtual location can improve your market share and yield great rewards for your company. Places like Uber didn’t start out everywhere. They piloted in one place and then little by little expanded into almost every major city. Depending on your business and your products or services, don’t try to expand into too many places at once. Focus on getting solid in each new city before you spread out. You’ll find that a strategy like that yields far greater rewards and stability in your business.
When you need a building, you need a building. With Amazon putting a new office in Virginia, it’s obvious that a normal building just won’t do for them. They found a location, worked with local officials, and decided to build their own state-of-the-art office. What you need to do is decide if retrofitting an older building makes sense, or if it’s more realistic to start from the ground up like Amazon.
Some companies do great in older buildings, but if you need to be in a certain part of the city or you need specific technology to make your business run, it may make more sense to build your own facility. It may even end up saving you money in the long-run versus all the expenses required to gut and redo the interior of something older.
Having connections makes all the difference in the world. Expanding your company to a new city will require financial commitments which may mean getting new investors to help. Networking within the city itself helps because these thought leaders can connect you to local investors who would love nothing more than to see their city thrive. Networking can get you into rooms that your title alone cannot. As you seek to expand into a city, these networks can help you identify potential pitfalls and areas that you may not have considered.
Expanding into a new city means that your business is thriving, and you have a great vision for the future. Leveraging some of these strategies to help you connect, get the funding you need, and create a foothold in a new city will aid you as you continue to bring your products and services to the marketplace.