One of the most exciting parts about creating a business is watching it grow. Eventually, however, you might reach a point where your current location, staff size, or business model naturally inhibits that growth. When this time comes, you have to decide whether you want to accept it as your business’s limit or figure out how to expand.
If you do decide to expand, there are many steps you’ll need to take along the way to ensure success. Here’s a look at some of the most important things you’ll need to consider when taking your business to the next level:
Cover Your Bases
Before you grow your business, take some time to make sure there are no basic legal or logistical tasks still hanging around to do. For example, if you haven’t yet registered your business as an LLC, now might be a good time to do so.
If your business deals in products, this is also a great time to run an inventory count. There are few things more frustrating than delays due to suppliers’ delivery schedules, so run an inventory first to make sure you know exactly what you do – and don’t – need to move forward. You may discover that you have supplies or materials you weren’t aware of, and this can help you save money during the expansion. Go without an inventory count, and you may think you have materials you don’t.
Create Your Plan
Expanding your business can be a complicated process, so it’s important to go in with a solid plan. Take some time to think about what your business needs in order to grow. More room? More employees? Specific talent? A new service or concept? Something else? Keep a notepad with you so you can jot down ideas and thoughts as they come to you.
This is a moment where assessment services can come in handy. An outside perspective can help you recognize things you wouldn’t necessarily consider on your own. Moreover, experienced consultants have the industry experience to guide your business on the best path. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help in order to make sure you’re taking the measures your business needs to thrive.
Are you operating from home? If so, can you expand your business in your current space, or should you find a new base? Do some window shopping; you can research online with criteria like the number of bedrooms you require, or if a garage is a must. Searching is easy these days thanks to the many websites dedicated to house hunting, and even renters can explore their options online. Renting more space may make you more comfortable in both a business and a personal sense, and help to ensure your success.
Expand Your Team Wisely
When you expand your business, you’ll almost always need to bring on more staff. After all, if your employees are currently working at a comfortable pace, upping their workload is more likely to backfire than it is to foster success. SHRM explains that hiring talented people who can help manage the new workload will put you in a much stronger position.
However, the people you hire now can make or break your expansion, so choose wisely. Many business owners think they should only hire entry-level people when expanding and focus on moving longer-term employees into more prestigious roles. Although this can be effective if you have that talent on staff, there’s nothing wrong with hiring an upper-level employee when you expand. Indeed, if you can find someone with experience working with a business during a growth stage, that person can quickly become a valuable asset. Think critically about who you hire and what they’re bringing to your business’s future.
Expansion is an exciting prospect for a business owner, but make sure you do it right. Growth always comes with risk, but if you have a strong plan and the drive to succeed, it’s often a risk worth taking. Give your business the chance to grow, and who knows where it might take you!
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