It doesn’t matter what sector you are in; there will always be the possibility expand your business. Unless you are content to remain small, you can stand out from the crowd and beat the competition if you do stretch your enterprise further. I’m a freelancer and even I have had to expand my business over the years in order to keep growing, earn more and enjoy new challenges.
How to Expand Your Business
But what does it mean to grow a business? A few examples include:
- Move into larger premises, using sites such as Proplist.com to find a commercial site to migrate your business.
- Hire new staff if there is too much work for you or your existing staff to take on. You could also choose to take on a VA (Virtual Assistant) or similar in order to delegate tasks you don’t like doing or are time-consuming so that you can concentrate on the core of your business, i.e. for me, the actual writing.
- Move into new markets, such as selling your product globally, or moving into new areas within your business.
- Add new services for example as a copywriter I could add a separate proofreading service or a specialist press release package (I won’t, I hate press releases, but you get the gist).
You could do each of those things, but you shouldn’t rush into making hasty decisions. If you start to expand too early, your enterprise may fall flat on its proverbial face, and you stand the chance of losing money. You should only grow your business when the time is right.
Are Your Ready to Expand Your Business?
But how will you know when you are ready to expand? Well, when any of the following signs are true, it may be time to put that expansion plan into practice.
- You are making great profits: If you are consistently making a profit, and you have money to burn each month, then it makes sense to think about growth. While you should put some of your profits into savings, you may also have the money to hire new team members, buy new technology, and anything else that will enable growth in your business.
- You have more work than you can handle. You are probably doing something right when you have clients and customers banging on your door, proverbially speaking, so to manage the work coming in, you will need to hire new people onto your team. Otherwise, you (and your existing team) are in danger of burning yourself out trying to do everything. This is something I struggle with. My books are full for the next month at least and I find myself turning potential clients away. I need to find a way to cash in on the extra work without taking it on myself.
- Your team is ready to grow. If you do have a team on your side, you don’t want to expand until they are ready. But if you have invested in training, and if they can be trusted to manage aspects of your business, then you have reason to start expanding, be that into new markets or new avenues that befit your business.
- Your premises are no longer fit for purpose. After taking on new staff members, you may decide that the space you are working in is no longer adequate. When people are falling over each other’s feet, and/or you are in need of new equipment to manage your growing business, then (to misquote Jaws), you’re going to need a bigger office!
- You are meeting all of your expected targets. When constructing your business plan right back at the very beginning of your business, you should have set targets that measure success. By looking back on your plan, you will know if you have achieved them or not. And if you have, you know it’s time to move onto the next phase of your business, whatever that might mean to you.
You don’t need to rush into any decisions, but if you identified with any of the above, and there is reason to expand your business, then perhaps you should start thinking about how you can put an expansion plan into practice. By doing so, you stand a better chance of beating your rivals, and ensure further success for your business.
Have you recent expanded, do you have any words of warning or top tips for success to share with those who are thinking about it?