June 18, 2024
Doug Shows

Doug Shows on Strategic Planning for Growth: Small Business Expansion Strategies

Doug Shows is a seasoned entrepreneur that is experienced in navigating the intricate landscape of small business and an expert in strategic planning for expansion. In the following article, Doug Shows unravels the effective strategies that small businesses employ to propel their companies towards sustainable growth. With firsthand experience as a business owner, Shows shares invaluable insights on the intricate art of strategic planning for success.

Small businesses make up 99.9 percent of all United States businesses. There are currently 33.2 million small businesses in the country.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 18 percent of small businesses fail within the first year of their establishment, 50 percent after five years, and about 65 percent by their tenth year of business.

With such a significant number of small businesses and high percentage of failure, how can one small business hope to expand and reliably achieve success?

Doug Shows says that with the right strategies, any small business can thrive and succeed in their industry.

Doug Shows Discusses Small Business Success Stories

Despite the discouraging statistics, some small businesses in the United States have persevered against the odds and were able to expand successfully. Some examples include:


CorpNet offers services such as business filing, payroll tax registration, and business compliance across the United States. Husband and wife team Phil and Nellie Akalp sold their previous company and again found success when they launched CorpNet, a company that started with only 12 employees and now employs over 100.

In 2021, the company saw a 200 percent growth. Corpnet was named one of 2021’s Inc. 5000 list, which noted the company’s 120 percent 3-year growth.

Rush Order Tees

Rush Order Tees, a t-shirt design and screen-printing business, was started by Michael Nemeroff and his siblings in their garage while they were still attending school.

Doug Shows notes that the siblings created an e-commerce store, hired specialists, and focused on marketing. Over the years, they were able to acquire and merge with other companies so that they could have their own design and production teams. Having started with just 3 employees, Rush Order Tees now has over 250 workers and has expanded from just t-shirts to hoodies, polo shirts, jerseys, sweatpants, uniforms, hats, bags, and more.

The Philadelphia-based company was earning a solid $30,000 per month in the past. Today, however, Rush Order Tees is a $90-million-dollar company and is an official partner of the 76ers, the city’s NBA team.


Doug Shows explains that the founder and CEO of BeeFree, Jennifer Wiese, started the company in 2008 while looking for delicious gluten-free and dairy-free food options for her son who was diagnosed with autism. Because she couldn’t find what she was searching for, she and her mother decided to make their own gluten-free snacks.

BeeFree, which employs adults with autism, is now a multimillion-dollar company. Their products are sold in thousands of stores in the country, including Target and Whole Foods.

Strategies for Success: Tips for Small Business Expansion

Doug Shows
Conduct Market Research

Primary market research plays an important role in the success of any business, as it helps entrepreneurs to understand their customers, identify competition, stay updated with the latest industry trends, and make better informed decisions as they progress – all of which are essential to a company’s profitability and growth.

Doug Shows explains that the process involves gathering first-hand data from potential clients, customers, and stakeholders to learn their behaviors, needs, and preferences. This way, small businesses can reduce risks and easily identify new opportunities.

Become a Scalable Company

In business, scalability refers to how well a company can perform as it expands. It’s a growth strategy that helps a business keep up with market demands, improve its efficiency, strengthen its adaptability, and increase its profit margins.

It is the ability of a business to maintain or improve its performance and adapt its operations no matter the demand. Doug Shows notes that technology has played an important role in helping companies scale more easily, allowing them to efficiently expand their markets and customer base.

Without proper scaling, a business won’t be able to meet its full potential or may be at risk of failing.

Find the Right Financing Options

For small businesses looking to expand, finding a suitable financing option is crucial. Using the wrong funding model could significantly harm the company and get it stuck with repayment terms that will negatively impact its growth.

Doug Shows also notes that bank loans, venture capital, CDFIs, government programs, crowdfunding, grants, and peer-to-peer lending (P2P) are some of the most common methods that small businesses use to fund their expansion.


Small business growth and success are definitely within reach – one just needs to choose the right strategies, starting with market research, being scalable, and choosing the right funding model. Follow our aforementioned tips to get started!