Ask a consultant

  • Updated: September 16, 2007 - 4:02 PM

Q My art consulting company supplies artwork and custom framing to corporate and residential clients. The majority of our contracts are with local corporations, and we're beginning to expand nationally. What is the best strategy for continuing this momentum?

GREG HENNES

CEO, ART HOLDINGS CORP.

A Your company has a history of organic growth based on a strong local presence, but you appear to struggle with the boundaries of your current business model. Overcome this obstacle by using the strength of your current market position to face the challenges of an out-of-state marketplace. For example, build a national reputation for the services you offer by recruiting reference clients that operate in multiple states and would be recognized by potential clients.

Also, consider changing your communication and advertising strategy. Engage in public relations efforts such as sponsorship of national events, exhibitions and organizations that receive national attention. National presence can also be strengthened though your company website. Remember, too, that communication should not be exclusively one-way. Build a database of new client contacts to obtain feedback on your service offerings and information on competitors.

Expanding your services to increase national appeal is another means of driving growth. This may take the form of recruiting artists and gaining access to artwork that will be attractive to your new clients. You might also partner with suppliers of artwork that complements your services.

Finally, establish logistics for these new markets. Develop new business processes to provide customer service to out-of-state clients, or consider using local vendors in your new markets -- a tactic you've already succeeded with in the Twin Cities.

STEPHAN GRZESKOWIAK, Ph.D.

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