Did you know that you can take a map, draw a circle around an area you want to target and identify only those potential customers with criteria that match your target customer base?
Did you know that, you can then model the profile of that target customer base and recreate test marketing in communities in a larger "geo" circle around the area your business serves? In fact, you can actually profile a region to assess and evaluate a strategic growth plan into neighboring towns and counties.
Most businesses grow by default or competitive intuition. They either pick up a client in an extraneous or obscure location by referral or the internet or they pick an area where there is little or no competition and they build a customer base from scratch.
FGM has a client who has a service business serving a rather large 100 mile geocircle, inclusive of Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. They are experts at what they do and hired FGM to create a highly optimized and educational website to drive potential new customers to their website. The result? Their web leads multiplied exponentially, however, some of them are from halfway across the country. Disappointingly, they are unable to service a need that far out of their service area and to date find themselves apologizing to potential customers in other states. They are even trying to assess ways to stop these calls by limiting the web exposure and minimize the keywords that are reaching these potential markets. I say, WHOA! Use it to your advantage!
When you start evaluating how you want to grow your business consider arranging reciprocal arrangements with companies you trust who perform similar services in other areas of the country. Establish a reciprocal fee for finding and referring a customer (if they indeed win the business) and watch your profits grow without the overhead of time or labor. Additionally, if your website or referrals are bringing in an extraordinary amount of business from an area you once considered outside of your target area, start looking at potential buy-out opportunities in which you acquire a business with a strong local reputation and start funneling all the leads you are receiving towards it.
Growth opportunities are around every corner. It's the ones under the rocks that are often the most profitable though, and often they start with a sign from your target market when they call looking for you! As my grandmother would say, "keep your eyes peeled and your ears pricked" for potential,it's never silent.