Competing as a mature business
Your Business Stage
Experienced business leaders understand the importance of innovation to gain competitive advantage, especially as a strategy to boost the mature business. That innovation can take the form of diversification, market expansion, cost reduction, or, in some cases, price increases.
Selling something else may refresh your revenue stream. Assess your business’ strengths to identify appropriate opportunities to expand your offering.
For young companies, a diversification strategy can be dangerous because it strains already scarce resources too thin. For a mature business, equipped with seasoned management, an established brand and adequate financial resources, diversification may be just the ticket to boost company fortunes.
Depending on your particular industry and appetite, a diversification strategy may include the creation of new products/services, launching subsidiary operations, franchising or making strategic business acquisitions.
Tap new markets
There are plenty of other people in the world who want what you sell. Stagnate growth in your traditional marketplace may prompt you to pursue new markets.
There are two popular choices: sell to another type of customer in your existing marketplace, or sell to the same type of customer in a new marketplace.
For example, established soft drink manufacturers are finding new customers in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (the so-called “BRIC” countries).
A little financial belt-tightening may help you to reduce your operating costs and yield a better profit. Or enable your business to lower prices. Unless it’s part of your strategy, be careful about creating price competition – you don’t want to start a war you can’t win.
You might find a revenue boost by raising prices. Often used as a tactic to “clean house” of low-profit, high-cost customers, a price increase could be just the ticket to earn more money from those customers who truly value what you do. Again, be careful. Consult your management team and outside expert advisors before making any such moves. And, of course, conduct thorough customer research to gauge reaction.
Jump-start your business with a refresh. The marketplace could simply be tired of hearing your same message over and over again. Conduct market research to see if that’s the case, and if it is, work with qualified marketing professionals to engineer a brand re-birth. Look for opportunities to improve your offering along the way to give the re-brand some substance.
At this stage of the business lifecycle you’ve likely learned the value of professional advice. Be sure to engage your team of advisors to provide input into any competitive strategy you are considering.
Ask your Scotiabank Small Business advisor for assistance to finance your next move. Find an advisor near you.
How is your mature business gaining competitive advantage? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.
By Roger Pierce