Expanding a business isn’t easy. Some may argue it’s even more challenging than when they first established their company, and it may not be different in the case of Ontario or other parts of Canada. For one, businesses need to remit a portion of their earnings as goods and service tax or harmonized sales tax. While Ontario’s harmonized tax is low (13%), it still takes up a large portion of a business’s earnings. Moreover, necessities in Ontario, specifical electricity, are fairly expensive, with statistics showing a 71% growth in price from 2008 to 2016.
Needless to say, expanding a business in Ontario is extremely challenging, but it’s often well worth the effort. After all, the unemployment rate in Canada is low (5.8%, which is the lowest it’s been since 1976), and the standard wage is increasing. This means consumers are becoming more financially stable and are likely to spend money on goods or services.
If you’re planning to expand your business in Ontario, you can maximize your likelihood of succeeding in this task by using a few strategies. Below are some of the best examples of these strategies.
1. Incorporate or register your business
Before you can establish a company, you must first add it to the business registry of your province. In your case, you need to use forms for business registration Ontario. During the process, you must identify what type of business you plan to create. The options include the following:
- Registration as a sole proprietorship
- Registration as a partnership
Sole proprietorships and partnerships strive in the fact that they’re inexpensive and easy to set up. Corporations, on the other hand, can be difficult to start and require a lot of documents. This may be the reason some business owners tend to choose either of the first two over setting up their business as a corporation.
However, corporations have several merits when you wish to expand your business. Below are some of them:
- Allows you to issue shares
- Lets you attract more investors
- Allows you to do business with government institutions
- Makes it easier to raise capital from investors
- Enables you to borrow money at lower rates
Incorporating may be an advisable strategy if your business is already stable and you plan to expand your establishment. In that regard, here’s how to incorporate your business:
- Decide on the corporation’s name.
- Choose a structure for the corporation.
- Register an office address and list the board of directors.
- Submit the form and pay a fee.
2. Branch out to different cities or towns
Establishing a branch in another city or town in Ontario is perhaps the best way to expand a business. By settling in a different location, you’re effectively enabling your business to market and sell products and services to a whole new demographic, which means more sales.
Each new location for the business requires a new registration of the specific business. You can register another sole proprietorship or general partnership or add a tradename under your existing corporation for any new location or incorporate each store individually.
Also, a new store is generally a major event in many places. If you do it right, you can take advantage of projects to gain media attention, which is almost always beneficial.
3. Establish an online presence
Nowadays, an online presence is a must-have and is particularly handy for businesses. For one, it enables your business to market your products and services to a new demographic, specifically to online users. Furthermore, having an online presence means you have access to tools that can give you an edge on the market. For example, you gain the ability to build websites or advertise on social media platforms.
If you haven’t established an online presence yet, it would be beneficial for your business to do so as soon as possible. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Build a website centered around your business.
- Create a business page on social media platforms.
- Use emails as a means to market to prospects.
- Consider paying for search engines to show your ads.
If you already have an online presence, make sure to always maintain it. You can do this by providing content regularly through your website, posting on your social media page, or sending follow-up emails to your existing customers. This will allow you to maximize your online presence and expand your website beyond the physical location of your storefront.
4. Expand your offerings
Customers’ wants are constantly changing according to the current trends in the market. They may like your existing products and services now, but there will come a time when they’ll look for new things. That’s why one of the best ways to expand your business is to expand your offerings.
Adding more products and services or at least modifying them can rekindle your customers’ love for your brand. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you can spice up your menu by adding new dishes and changing existing ones.
This strategy has turned out well for many businesses. That said, here’s how you can expand your business offerings:
- Conduct surveys on social media platforms for product ideas.
- Ask your employees for some ideas.
- Research the market for product ideas.
- Hold a trial launch for new products.
- Check your competitors’ offerings.
5. Acquire or partner with other businesses
Acquiring other establishments, or at least partnering with them, is yet another way to expand your business, mainly because it bridges the gap between you and other customers in other niches. For example, if you’re a construction company, by partnering with a roofing agency, you’re essentially expanding your business to the home improvement niche. In short, you gain the benefits of establishing a new business without the hassle that normally comes with it.
6. Invest in software
As you grow your business, you’ll find that you have less time to actually expand the company. After all, you have to manage a new branch, maintain your online presence, improve your new products, cater to your partners, and do other important tasks.
To fix this problem, consider investing in software that will automate menial tasks that would otherwise eat up most of your time. Naturally, different businesses require different software, so you may have to do your research on what exactly your business needs.
Expanding a business requires time, effort, and, most importantly, money. Unfortunately, despite the huge amount of resources available to expand a company, not everyone can manage to pull it off. Of course, this would be the worst-case scenario for business owners as it would mean they’ll have less money to spend on core business operations. With this guide, however, you should be able to maximize your chances of succeeding in this task.