Whether you’re the owner of a multi-national corporation, or an entrepreneurial start-up, business expansion is a notion that should always be in the forefront of your mind.
If you’re the owner of your own company, then you’ll likely be familiar with the business growth spurts that come and go; and now is the time to plan for your expansion strategically and carefully. Regardless of the size of a business, expansion can be tricky to navigate, and heading into the process unprepared can have long-lasting consequences.
The following suggestions should work as a starting point for your planned business growth, and though each organisation will vary in terms of its needs and plans for the future, it’s certainly a good place to start.
Look at the market
If you’re planning to expand your business, your first step should be to look at the market and be sure that expansion is feasible. Taking a look at your services and products and how they perform in the current market is essential; if you’ve had a steady increase in revenue, and are offering something that has real staying power in the future markets, then growing your business should be the next logical step.
Furthermore, when expanding an organisation, it’s also important to consider extending your market reach; are there new areas that you could tap into, or new audiences you could serve? Growing a business will dramatically increase your overheads, so it’s essential that you’re also looking at ways to increase your revenue, and extending your market reach is one way to do so.
Be ready financially
While it should perhaps go without saying, if you’re looking to
expand your business, then it’s crucial that you’re in the financial position to do so. Seeking independent financial advice is vital, as heading into business expansion without the necessary funds will inevitably result in disaster.
If you’re ready to go, then it’s important to set a budget, and adhere to it closely. This means it may be time to brush up on your negotiating skills, to ensure that you’re getting the best prices and services. If you’re in the position where you’re set to expand, it’s easy to get caught up; you’ll have money to spend that you might not have had when you initially started up your business, so it’s important that you’re careful with your budget and don’t overspend.
When you’re growing your company, one of the most important factors is deciding where you’re expanding to; are you growing nationally, or do you want to stay local? In this instance, coming to the right decision is crucial; you have to sure that you’re setting up in the place that’s best for the business. While you should be careful with your budget, there’s no sense in expanding to a cheaper location, especially if it’s unlikely to have a positive effect on your business.
Additionally, make sure you have a long-term game plan for your business; be sure that you’re setting up somewhere that will accommodate for further growth – you don’t want to invest in additional space, to find that you’ve outgrown it after only a few years.
Consider your personnel
If expansion is on the horizon, it’s more important than ever that you have the right staff on board; you’ll need a strong team of managers and HR professionals to manage the transition as you begin to grow. Furthermore, you should be looking to the future, and assessing the personnel that you’ll want to bring on board. Working out how many employees you’ll need, as well as mapping out teams and putting employee growth plans in place is an effective way to ensure that you don’t bring the wrong recruits on board.
If your business’ values play a big role in the way that your staff operate, you’ll need to consider how this might be affected by new staff joining the team. Expanding your organisation and bringing in a host of new faces can be unsettling for your current staff, so you need to be sure that your recruitment strategies are being used effectively and that employees of the right calibre are being hired.
Finally, be sure to keep your customers and those that use your services up to date. If you’re a small business, customers are often the first to be affected when changes such as expansion are underway. Even better, making sure that the public are aware of these changes is some of the best marketing you could have; it simply highlights the demand for what you’re providing, and shows that you’re a reliable brand. While it can be a difficult transition period, it’s also a sign of success; and when the process is handled correctly, the end result is certainly worthwhile.