Before you went into business for yourself, you undoubtedly did your research. You asked for help from an advisor, or got tips from a magazine, a book or the Internet. Starting a home business is a huge investment in terms of time, money and sweat. For those of you who’ve made it through the startup phase, you’re probably wondering how you can grow your business. Here are ten ways to do just that- your choice will depend on your business’ type, your level of resources, and how much of an additional investment you’re prepared to make.

Expand from your home and open a location.Renting office space isn’t the most cost-effective choice on our list, but it’s first because it’s often the first thing to come to mind when an entrepreneur considers an expansion. A physical expansion shouldn’t be done without planning, number-crunching and research.

Sell franchises or business opportunities. It allows ownership by those working in markets outside your home territory; when someone has a vested interest in what they do, they can offer more and be more successful.

Offer licensing deals. This is a cost-efficient but effective way to grow, especially if you have a branded product. Through continued sale of your product or brand you can continue to receive royalties.

Align yourself with a business similar to yours. If the thought of investing money to form an alliance makes you squeamish, take a look at the big picture. Having a business ally provides you with ready access to a list of potential customers.

Diversify your offerings. Offer seminars or continuing education, export your product, or sell services and products that complement what you already offer. Diversifying is a great way to grow your business, and it provides additional income streams at times where sales might otherwise be low.

Try to get a government contract. It’s one of the best ways for a business to grow; the US government is one of the world’s largest buyers of services and products. The Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Administration have a program that matches buyers and sellers, but the process involves significant and time-consuming work. However, it could be worth it, because once you have won a government contract you’re insulated from most of the competition of the open market.

Expand around the world. It’s not necessary to buy or merge with another business to do this; you just need to prepare your product for the international market. You’ll need distributors to sell your product in their home market.

Build an online presence. Getting your site to rank high in search engine results pages is essential, as almost 80% of web traffic comes from searches. There are more than four billion pages on the web, and Internet traffic doubles every three months. To be competitive, you need every tool you can find.

There are a lot of ways that you can grow and nurture your home-based business, and some are more effective than others. By following the tips on this list, you can enjoy growth without overextending yourself and putting your business at risk.

This article was written by James Harper on behalf of Foxhall Business Centres, providers of office space. To see how they can help you with office space, visit their site.