It’s every entrepreneur’s dream to start a successful and innovative company, be profitable and expand their vision and company into other markets. However, expansion can be challenging for new business owners who may be unsure of where to focus their efforts. Successful expansion requires entrepreneurs to identify which markets are in need of solutions that your company can easily provide. Since starting and expanding Coder Foundry, an intensive coding bootcamp that offers rapid hands-on training and professional job placement for programming careers, I’ve learned some key actionable strategies that can serve as building blocks as you expand your company to a new target market.
Be money-smart: Consider cost-effectiveness when it comes to rent/lease, staff and start-up expenses. Where and how you choose to invest can either make or break your company’s expansion. In order to make smart investments, entrepreneurs must find a comfortable balance between cost-effectiveness and return on investment. In order to do so, you must take the time to critically analyze your expansion budget and create realistic goals for essential costs like rent and staffing. List all tangible assets and service expenses necessary for your expansion. Then, prioritize which expenses are most critical for your expansion’s success and research where current companies in that market are allocating their money. For example, when I started my company’s expansion, I found that I could save money by utilizing co-working spaces instead of investing in dedicated real estate space with much higher monthly rent costs.
Critically evaluate the need for your business: When choosing a new market, make sure there is a significant need for what you are offering, as well as how many competitors exist in the area.
The most successful business expansions occur in markets that are lacking a specific service or product that your company can be the first to offer. When I began researching target markets for Coder Foundry’s expansion from North Carolina, I found that there were no coding bootcamps offering New York-based students training specifically in the .NET coding language. Since .NET is one of the most employable coding languages for enterprise IT careers, I knew that Coder Foundry could successfully expand into this market and offer an extremely beneficial service to New York’s booming IT market.
Size up your business model: Do you have a business model that will be easily replicated in the new market? Or do companies do things differently there? Developing a spot-on business model starts with having a complete understanding of your target market and how it differs from your current market. For Coder Foundry, I know that my goal is to eventually expand into many new markets, so I made sure to make my business plan easily scalable from conception. Even if you didn’t initially plan for expansion, it isn’t too late to develop a guide for scalable growth and success. When expanding, identify which areas of your business model should remain the same and which aspects could be scaled in order for your plan to be optimal in the new market. For example, most employee vetting and onboarding processes will largely remain standardized in any market. However, be aware that consumer needs are largely shaped by their environment, so entering larger markets may require more staff based on the region.
About the Author
Bobby Davis is a tech industry veteran with 17 years of proven success founding software businesses, including running his own Microsoft Gold Partner Custom Software Development Firm. He founded Coder Foundry in 2014 to help fill the talent gap in the technology industry, and help graduates create professional portfolios to find careers nationwide. For more information, visit coderfoundry.com.