I'm thinking of shifting my wedding photography business from Auckland to a provincial area. How should I research the market opportunities and the impact of relocation?
A: As a first step you should fully retest your business model in the new location.
You will need to determine whether there is sufficient demand in your new location. Consider whether you will need to broaden your service offerings to ensure you can generate sufficient revenue in a provincial area.
Determine where your business will sit in relation to any existing local competition. Perform some high level research on competitors via the internet and other local media sources such as local newspapers.
Often business in provincial areas is by word of mouth and local knowledge and you may have to get out and about and talk to local conduits such as wedding celebrants, function venues etc.
Determine where your current price point sits with local competition and your strategy for building reputation in your new place of business.
Depending on location is it still possible to maintain networks in Auckland so you can still pick up larger assignments? This may assist your transition as you look to build up your business.
- Andrew Hawkes is a partner of KPMG Christchurch.
A: Perform a scan of the competitors in the areas, you will need to offer something significant to break loyal local connections.
Do not underestimate customer loyalty and personal connections in regional areas.
Sign up some customers and fly in and out now to begin to build a local reputation, before committing to the change.
As a services business you need to be aware that it will take you three years to transfer your brand and reputation into the new market.
Begin networking and building a referral network well ahead of moving there. Look into doing a deal with a venue, caterer or some other non competing business to help supply deal flow.
- Mark Robotham is an SME business adviser. Website: growthmanagement.co.nz
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