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Business Growth: Extension vs. Expansion

a small cactus in a store with shirts hanging in the back

If you own or manage a growing business, there will come a point where you have to evaluate what long-term success looks like for your business and how you plan to get there. Broadly speaking, growth strategies can head in one of two directions; business extension or market expansion. Every growth strategy has merit in the right context, so it’s important that you have a clear understanding of the broad lines of growth strategies in order to fine-tune your approach and maximize your chances of success.

In this post, we will compare expansion growth with extension growth to help you figure out which direction makes the most sense for your company.

Expansion Growth – Seeking a New Market for Existing Products or Services

Business expansion is the process of growing a business by extending the same business model to new locations in the pursuit of new customers. For companies with good local market penetration, bringing their existing product or service to new areas can lead to exponential growth.

This approach is typically used when there is a target audience and potential customer base that has been previously unreachable. In order for business expansion to be successful, it is important to have a well-defined business model that can be replicated in new markets. However, it is essential to have the necessary infrastructure and growth financing for small business to support this goal. Business expansion requires careful planning, execution, and plenty of capital, in order to avoid common pitfalls, but, when done correctly, business expansion can be a powerful tool for growth.

Without access to the right type of financing, many small businesses would be forced to scale back their expansion plans or abandon their new market acquisition strategy altogether. Successfully pursuing an expansion growth strategy requires convenient access to capital in order to purchase new equipment, hire additional staff, and open new locations. Throughout a business expansion phase, growth financing can also provide a much-needed influx of cash to keep daily operations running smoothly.

Extension Growth – Offering New Products or Services to Existing Customers

If your market share has been steadily growing, but you’re starting to see a plateau in new sales then a shift in tactics should be on the horizon. You can’t just sit back and wait for business to pick up on its own.

One growth strategy you may want to consider is business extension. This involves expanding your offerings, either through a new product line or service, to an existing market. This market development approach is popular with companies that want to take a low-risk growth strategy. It allows you to get more from an existing customer base that is already familiar with your brand. And it can help you better understand the needs and wants of your current market.

One benefit of this strategy is that it allows you to tap into an existing customer base. This can be a more efficient use of resources than trying to reach new customers. Additionally, you may already have some brand recognition in the market, which can give you a head start.

For example, if you currently sell pet supplies, you could extend your business by offering pet grooming services. Business extension is a great way to grow your business without having to find new customers. Instead, you can tap into your existing customer base and offer them something new. This growth strategy can be especially effective if you already have a loyal customer following.

However, business extension is not without risks; if poorly executed, you could end up cannibalizing parts of your existing business.

Expansion vs Extension – The Takeaway

To resume, there are two main types of growth strategies that companies can pursue: expansion growth and extension growth. Expansion growth involves increasing the size of the company by opening new locations or expanding existing ones. Extension growth, on the other hand, involves growing the company by introducing new products or services.

Which Type of Growth is Right for Your Business?

Deciding on the right type of growth for your business depends on a number of factors, including your current situation, your long-term goals, and the corporate finance resources available to you.

If you’re a small company with limited financing, pursuing expansion growth may not be feasible because it can require a hefty capital investment. On the other hand, if you’re a large company with a strong customer base, expansion growth could be the way to go.

Ultimately, the best growth strategy for your business will depend on your unique circumstances. Whichever path you choose, Merchant Growth offers a variety of financing options that can support you along the way. Apply today!

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