Nothing is quite as exciting for an entrepreneur than seeing goals and dreams materialize. All profitable businesses eventually encounter the milestone perplexities of expansion and growth.
Reaching this stage sheds new light on the complexities that revolve around a successful business. Expanding comes with a myriad of challenges and lots of questions on how to grow strategically. It also comes with tremendous opportunity and gratification.
As a Show Manager who produces multiple events spanning the country, the prospect of growth can be a temporary headache but the relief will come if you take a well-informed approach to expansion. Your role can evolve as you move on from tasks that could be delegated to new employees. Implementing your strategy is going to involve tackling some questions that will expose your motivations and help you analyze your readiness.
Each company has its own unique set of challenges when it comes to strengths and weaknesses. What are your core strengths? What diverts your attention away from your core assets, weakening your competitive edge? Just because there is an ingrained way of conducting business doesn’t mean it’s wise to continue to do so based on its reality principle of the past. Every major aspect of your company should be reviewed for effectiveness. Assess your business plan by considering what is happening in these critical areas:
Time – How is the time aspect of your business running? Are you having trouble accomplishing goals by the promised deadlines? Do you have too many opportunities but not enough resources? What is the health of the industry and market I’m involved in?
Financial – Can your infrastructure support increased sales? Is acquisition a viable financial and strategic option? Do you have the capital needed for growth?
Energy – Is your team burned out and overworked? Is quality and customer service being sacrificed because of too much work and not enough resources to meet high expectations?
If you are tapped out in the above areas, it’s time to expand the operational side of your business. When you discover that your company’s lack of growth is stifling your opportunities, rediscover your mission and cultivate the passion you have for your industry. Address the areas that need help and focus on ways to accommodate the growth your business needs.
What will drive your strategic plan will be understanding your competition and your place in the trade show marketplace. When you have a concrete plan you can be proactive instead of reactive. Here are some ways to help fast forward your growth in the trade show industry:
Market Expansion – One of the most common growth strategies is to expand the awareness of what you have to offer outside of your current zone. Does anything you offer need to evolve in order to attract new customers in different markets? Know what the consumer and economic trends are so that your solutions have staying power.
Team Expansion – One of the easiest ways to expand your business is to add talented members to your team. One way to search for experienced help is through the career center at IAEE. You can also reach out to local universities for qualified students that are graduating or hire an intern. Hiring a Junior Account Manager or an assistant to the production team can enhance your team and free up other employees to focus on other tasks. If hiring a full-time member isn’t an option right now but you need the extra help, consider hiring a part-time employee or outsourcing some tasks.
Technology Expansion – Does the technology you currently have support your expansion plans? Whether you have a new office or have expanded operations, it’s important that you have an IT infrastructure plan to accommodate it. It can help streamline business operations and simplify growth in the future. Also, an integral part of the business is having an internet presence with an effective website that can open up unrealized opportunities.
Business expansion takes hard work and effort reminiscent of when you first started your business in the first place. With a clear implementation plan, your opportunities will grow and the challenges will be a thing of the past. Strive away from the ordinary and thrive in the extraordinary.