Part II: Where Does Your Growth Come From?

Another major stream of growth comes from strategic market development.  For most small business owners, seeking out to expand the distribution channel is a more frequently adopted strategy than entering a whole new product category.  We’ve all seen that Bagel shop open another location across town, or a car dealership expand to a nearby county.  For some, opening up several online stores (own website, Amazon, eBay, etc.) can be another lucrative option.  Whether physical or virtual, new market developments are quite costly and require considerable due diligence and capital to succeed.  Just as we’ve seen in the Dot-com bubble burst at the turn of the century, rapid expansions can often lead to unsustainable growths.  Finding reliable small business loans and merchant loans is one step to reduce such uncertainties.

One of the effective tactics for small businesses to maintain stability while branching out to new distribution outlets is to first become the local’s “talk of the town.” Especially for businesses in the hedonic realm (those that provide goods and services directly to consumers for pleasure), the brand should be positively associated with its geographical basis, and local customers should proudly introduce your business to outside visitors.

In 1994, having fallen in love with the beauty of Hawaii, the father and son team Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsaa ventured into starting a craft brewery on the Big Island.  The duo built the Kona Brewery brand to represent the island’s passion and spirit along with their keenness for quality beer, which they inherited from their Pacific Northwest backgrounds.  After launching the Longboard Island Lager in the following year, the company soon advanced to be one of the most loved brands within the state, becoming the largest brewery in Hawaii by 1996.  Notably, the company has continued to focus on delivering something special to the local consumers, opening its own pub and restaurant on the island, featuring island-only beers, and offering tours of the brewery.  Their dedication to deliver and honor their origins and utilize efficient craft brewery loans and brewery funding has paid off in the long run, now recognized and sold throughout the country as one of the top craft beer brands among estimated 4,000+ US breweries.

Not all businesses can grow as quickly and exponentially as Kona Brewery. Who would have known that Hawaii could be fertile grounds for a craft brewery brand?  Yet, a small business owner envisioning similar success should first firmly root the company’s local identity before venturing out into other markets.  Especially in this day and age when potential consumers can easily find out existing opinions through SNS and review websites, investing to solidify the flagship store and brand’s reputation prior to expanding into new markets will be a requirement, not an option, for successful growth.

By: Charles Barr
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