Business growth is exhilarating, but first make sure you’re prepared
At some point, you will be making plans for your business expansion, may it be opening a new location, offering a new product or service or taking on new clients. It’s rather normal to feel like you’re under quite a bit of pressure, but, as they say, that pressure can drive you to be even more successful as long as you know how make the most of it.
Getting yourself ready for an expansion requires a lot of careful planning. Before you consider growing your business, there are a few critical steps you need to take if you want to come out successful. If you take the plunge headfirst without seeing where you’re going, you risk losing not just the expansion you were aiming for, but your entire business altogether.
Will your current business be put at risk if you expand?
In my experience as a Business Coach, I’ve encountered several business owners who struggled to reach their goals because they tend to bite off more than they can chew. While you want to continually drive yourself to work harder and do more, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself and your team.
If you’re considering expanding, you need to first identify whether you’re even capable of taking on new work. If your team is already struggling to keep your business afloat, don’t bog yourselves down with additional work and projects. You should know how to wait until you have the resources, time and energy to concentrate on your expansion while still being able to cover your current situation and everything that you’ve already worked hard for.
Is your business financially capable for an expansion?
You have to spend money to make money. An expansion can bring in more money for your business, but not instantaneously. You need to be prepared to make an investment that could take quite a while to return. Opening a new location, hiring a new team, and all the marketing activities that need to be done — these will force you to pay sizable bills before you ever see money coming in through the door. If you don’t have a solid cash flow to cover these expenses, you could be looking at some serious debt.
Assess your finances before you make any decisions to expand your business. If you’re not making a lot of money or you don’t have access to the money you need, expanding will most likely be too challenging for you. Premature expansion could prevent you from being profitable for even longer.
Are you lagging behind your competition?
In this modern, highly-competitive business landscape, entrepreneurs can learn a lot from observing their competitors. Because you share the same target market, you are likely using comparable techniques to attract your ideal audience’s attention. If you’re good at watching the competition, you’re able to use their successes or failures to decide what is likely to work for your own.
You can make intelligent assessments of whether or not you’re ready to expand by closely inspecting whether other companies are going for it. Why are they expanding? Why are they not expanding? How did they do it? What worked for them? What were their difficulties? How would you do if you did the same things they did? How can you do better?
Do you have a team that’s capable of stepping up?
Expanding your business isn’t something you should do on a whim. Even if you do have the money, the time and the physical resources, if you and your team don’t have the proper motivation, you’re not going to do well.
Expanding your business will most likely create new challenges that you or anyone from your team may not have experienced before. That’s why everybody needs to be prepared to tackle them head-on if you want your expansion to be a successful one.
Talk to your team before you make any decisions to expand. Expansion can increase their workload or throw them off in their current responsibilities, so they need to be mentally and physically prepared to accept changes, good or bad.
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