Our Experts | David Allen
Being the business development person in a staffing firm that is committed to expansion and growth, I am partly responsible for entering new markets. If you’ve never tried to break into new territory, it is much more difficult than you might think. Here are some of my tips to expanding your business into new markets.
- How to choose your next market. For our firm in Cleveland, it made sense for us to grow our footprint in areas like Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh and Detroit, that are geographically close to us. When you are searching for a new market, take into account the geographical location as well as the marketplace for your industry.
- Get introduced. Once you decide on a location, see who you can get connected with. Leverage your personal and business relationships to get introduced to potential clients.
- Go on a recon mission. Visit potential clients and personally see how they feel about your business, how the market looks, and whether it seems like a market worth investing in. Take the time to travel and see for yourself if it’s as promising as you thought it would be.
- Build relationships. You’ll need to travel and go to a lot of meetings with a lot of people. It’s important to realize that everyone already has established relationships elsewhere, and that you are new to the party. You must build your credibility and create relationships with people to earn their trust, respect, and business. For more tips on building better relationships, see my previous blog.
- Don’t give up. My biggest piece of advice is to put in the time, effort, travel and hours. You’ll get frustrated. You’ll lose your patience and want to give up, but don’t. Nothing happens overnight. In fact, it could take years. But If you put in the hard work, you’ll see the benefits over time and your efforts will all be more than worth it.