So you want to grow your business. Ah, let the questions begin. Export or import? Merge with a competitor or complementary business? Buy into a new market or, well, market a new product line?
The answer? Depends. As we wrap up our four-part series about company reinvention, we’ll look at six ways you might consider growing your business . . . and one story of our own.
1.Export your products . . . Think you’re too local to go global? Think again. Even small businesses can take advantage of the global marketplace. Since our headquarters is in the U.S., we turned to the U.S. Small Business Administration for guidance. The SBA encourages companies to open their doors to international customers for big growth opportunities abroad. And ecommerce services (like—ahem—NCR Retail Online) make selling your products anywhere easier.
2. . . . or import to cut costs. Can you source materials, labor or other services overseas? You might be able to lower your overheadwithout sacrificing quality. It can take a while to get all the details aligned with your strategy, so give yourself some time to explore all the options.
3. Merge with a competing business . . .Last year was a busy one for mergers and acquisitions—a good sign of a healthy economy. If you’re feeling a squeeze in your margins, consider merging with (or purchasing) another business in your niche. In 2013, two of the most important suppliers to the semiconductor industry, Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron, did just that, relieving both technical and financial pressures.
4. . . . or merge with a different business in your industry. Want to offer something a little unexpected to your customers? Try merging with a complementary business. When Thermo Fisher Scientific, which makes lab equipment, bought Life Technologies, the company scored a way to offer genetic sequencing—a hot prize in the healthcare industry.
5. Buy access into an emerging market . . .Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp helps the social media giant expand into emerging markets. Clever move, if you ask us. But what about you? Can your business take a similar shortcut into growing markets?
6. . . . or buy into a budding product niche. Since last year, Google has purchased eight robotics companies. What will the search behemoth do with all this new technology? (Aside from letting driverless cars roam the streets.) Think about whether there are promising start-ups that can help you make a name for yourself in a new product or service area.
Our recent acquisitions made our portfolio the most comprehensive suite of retail banking solutions.
Last year, we announced our plans to acquire Digital Insight, a leader in online and mobile banking, and Alaric Systems, which provides secure transaction switching and fraud prevention. Thanks to those moves, we now offer the most comprehensive suite of retail banking solutions in our industry—and more value for our financial customers.
Can you think of an acquisition that could help you reach new markets? Could importing or exporting boost your bottom line? Oh, and tell us what you thought of our four-part series about company reinvention. We’d love to hear what you think.
P.S. Missed any of the previous three parts in our series? Just click on the link(s) below to catch up.