Four Steps to Growing Your Business in a New Market
Having founded Chancey Charm in Denver, with a move back to Atlanta in sight after only a year in business, I have always had a new city and destination on my mind as a business owner. Even though I probably wouldn’t have chosen that route as a new entrepreneur (some days it seemed like I would never overcome all the transitions) the lessons I’ve learned along the way have allowed me to launch a team of expert planners across the country, with new locations coming in San Diego, Nashville and Tampa this fall. Launching nine cities in 2015 forced me to focus all my time and energy on expansion, making new cities and planners my heart and passion. That said, I often get the question, how do you expand into a new city? I love helping other creatives achieve their outlandish dreams and goals, like my program launch, so let’s dive into my first four steps to launching your small business into a new city. If you’ve got a strong brand, it’s not as hard as you might think!
1. Announce the launch via socials. As simple as that might sound, sometimes getting the word out that you’ve acquired a studio or new associate in a new city is all you need to get your first gig. Clients, vendors and friends that love you in your current city might be quicker to refer your services to their friends in another city than you’d expect. Help your associates think of you when they think of your new city by putting the news out to the public. This can be a scary step, but it also provides great accountability. I always get a lil squirm in my spirit when I see our new location posts. I know there is no turning back, and it’s time to get to work!
2. Get help! If you’re launching into multiple cities, it’s important to first make sure that you have a dedicated, reliable contact in the city for your company (even if it’s just a very part-time gig in the beginning). You’ll also want to think about handing tasks off to new team members or professionals you love. I COULD NOT have expanded to nine new cities in 2015 without my Associate Planner team, which consists of Kristen Green (PR & Marketing), Marilisa Schachinger (Creative Mentor) and Katie Werkin (Creative Mentor). These ladies understand my heart for the success of each of our planners and help me support them on a daily basis.
3. Use local listings. Make sure you take advantage of local listing sites, on sites like Yelp to spread the word about your business in your new location.
4. Collaborate and network. Send emails to vendors in your new location to connect them with your brand, reviews and past work, then ask them to collaborate. This is where having a website that clearly articulates your level of experience and dependability as a creative comes in handy. Launching in a new city with your existing brand is not as hard as your initial launch, because other vendors can see that you’re legit and understand your style from the start, because your portfolio and customer service reputation are built. What a huge advantage!
What’s holding you back from expanding into the city you love? Shoot me your thoughts below, and I’d love to help provide advice from my experience.
Nice post with implementable action steps!