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Follow some simple steps to help your business grow

October 10, 2012
  • Robert A. "Bob" Poor
Robert A. "Bob" Poor

Q: Our small business really benefited from SCORE’s “How to Really Start Your Own Business” seminar series several years ago at Hagerstown Community College. Now, we need help growing the business. Any suggestions?

A: In November, a new seminar series titled “Simple Steps to Grow Your Business” will be presented at HCC. The sessions are Thursdays, Nov. 1, 8 and 15, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in room 323 of the Technical Innovation Center.

The series focuses on hands-on strategies for planning and organizing a business, marketing and sales management, and general growth management.

There are many ways to grow a business. Choosing the proper one (or ones) for your business will depend on the type of business you own, your available resources, and how much money, time and resources you’re willing to invest again.

If you are ready to grow, take a look at these tips:

  1. Open another location. This often is the first way owners approach growth. Be sure that your current location is under control before considering opening a new location.
  2. Offer your business as a franchise or business opportunity. Franchising your business will allow for growth without requiring you to manage the new location. Be certain to thoroughly acquaint yourself with all federal and state regulations that apply.
  3. License your product. Licensing minimizes your risk and is less expensive than starting your own company to produce and sell your brand or product. To find a licensing partner, start by researcing companies that provide products or services similar to yours.
  4. Form an alliance. Aligning with a similar type of business can be a powerful way to expand quickly.
  5. Target other markets. Your current market is serving you well. Are there others? Use your imagination to determine what other markets could use your product or service.
  6. Win a government contract. Work with your local SCORE and Small Business Development Center to help determine the types of contracts available to you.
  7. Merge with or acquire another business. Investigate other companies similar to yours, or that have offerings that are complementary to yours, and consider the benefits of combining forces or acquiring the company.
  8. Expand to the Internet. Very often, customers discover a business through an online search engine. Be sure your business has an online presence to maximize your business exposure.

Growing your business is serious business. Take advantage of SCORE’s services today by signing up to attend “Simple Steps for Growing Your Business.”

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The cost for the entire series is $81, including all class materials. Register by calling HCC’s continuing education department at 240-500-2236.

To register for free SCORE mentoring or for more information, call 301-766-2043 or go to www.scorehagerstown.org.

Robert A. “Bob” Poor is a local small-business owner/operator. He is a small-business mentor and a regular contributor to the Ask SCORE column. Questions may be emailed to him at r.poor@myactv.net or sent by mail in care of The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741, ATTN: Ask SCORE column.

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