When running an event business, diversifying your customer base can make a big difference in your bottom line. While it’s beneficial for many entrepreneurs to niche down, you may find more success by expanding your reach. For instance, if you specialize in wedding photography but want to maintain a steady income during slow seasons, branching out to family shoots, headshots, or brand photography can help.
However, entering a new market is not a one-and-done solution. Before you jump into rebranding mode, you’ll want to ensure you have the means to support this pivot in your business. From reviewing your finances to assessing your bandwidth, reflecting on your foundation will help you determine if entering a new market is the right move.
Review these five tips to clarify your next steps and prepare for a seamless transition in reaching a new audience.
Reflect on the timing
Incorporating a new market in your branding is a meticulous process. It requires time, effort, and finances to support this growth. Before you embark on this new venture, consider whether it’s the right timing for your business. Think about your finances, your team’s capacity, and the best season to implement a growth plan. If everything checks out, this may be the perfect opportunity to expand.
Other signs that indicate you’re ready for growth include:
- Receiving inquiries about services you don’t currently offer
- Hearing about requested services outside your market
- Frequently turning away business opportunities
There’s a good chance you’re ready to enter a new market if these indicators look familiar. If that’s the case, the next step is to assess your business further.
Evaluate your business model
A strong foundation will ensure your business continues to grow seamlessly without overwhelming you and your team. Here are some questions to consider before making any transitions:
- Do you (and your team) have the bandwidth to grow? If you’re already overwhelmed with your current workload, it’s worth exploring why.
- Are you always booked, or do you need help reeling in new clients? Focus on generatinghigh-quality leads before applying these strategies to a new market.
- Is your current market oversaturated? Noticing a trend of new competitors with lowerprices taking your limelight? It’s time to share your services with a fresh audience.
- Can your business handle a non-profitable month during the transition? Diving into a newmarket is time-consuming and expensive. If you have the budget for a transitional period, you’ll experience a much smoother process. However, if you’re operating month-to-month, targeting a new customer base may not be ideal yet.
Reflecting on your business model will help you determine if it makes sense to enter a new market.Take time to review these questions and discuss them with your team.
Study the new market
Entering a new market is similar to studying for a test. If you want to excel, you must gain a deeper understanding of your new target audience. What do they need? What are their problems? How can you solve them? How can you incorporate their values into your services?
For instance, if you want to target more corporate events, consider what kind of events they would host, like award galas, client appreciation dinners, or company retreats.
Immerse yourself in a new market by discussing expectations with potential clients and connecting with industry experts. You can also take this opportunity to explore social media groups to gather more insight about your target audience.
Assess the need for rebranding
Some business owners believe rebranding is a must to win over new customers. But sometimes, changing your public image can confuse your current audience. So instead of diving in headfirst, revisit your market research to determine if a rebrand is necessary.
The need to rebrand also depends on the extent of your expansion. For example, do you plan onlaunching a new service or tweaking your message to attract more high-quality leads? If you’re establishing a new service, you may need a fresh look. However, if you’re making slight adjustments to your tagline, you may only require a bit of new copy to go with it.
Support for tech
Set your team up for success by ensuring they have the tools, resources, and knowledge to transition smoothly into a new market. From hiring new employees with experience in the field to educating your staff, there are plenty of ways to prepare your business for this new endeavor.
Consider signing up for collaboration tools to ensure everything is cohesive. Make it as seamless and accessible as possible by utilizing software that allows you to set permissions—this can make a world of difference and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Additionally, providing your team with templates leaves no room for confusion, especially when they’re already navigating a new-to-them market.
Entering a new market can be rewarding, but you must begin with where you are. First, review your current standing and offerings. Then, focus on your brand’s values and ways you can set yourself apart from competitors in the industry. If it’s time to branch out, you can set down stepping stones to reach a new audience. Before you know it, you’ll attract your ideal market while diversifying your income!
Nora Sheils is the founder of award-winning planning firm Bridal Bliss and co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, a client management platform that offers a streamlined approach to contract, invoicing, and payment processing for the wedding and event industry. Nora is a well-known and sought-after speaker on national stages. Recognized as one of the Top 500 Event Professionals by BizBash, Nora has also been heralded as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Event Industry by Eventex. More recently, Rock Paper Coin was celebrated by the Stewie Awards as the Best Startup in Technology Services.