As an entrepreneur, you’ll come across many challenges when it comes to launching your own business and running your soon-to-be empire effectively. Taking your business to the next level through expansion can be exciting – but also a tough decision to make. The risk of losing money and entering financial danger can often scare away business owners, but sometimes life requires you to be brave and take the leap. Would Amazon be where it is today without a little risk taking? Of course not!
Here are five signs it’s time to expand your business…
- You’ve built a strong customer base
If you’ve started to build up a strong, loyal customer base then that’s a brilliant sign that your business has was it takes to reach the next level. If others believe in your service or product, then you need to as well. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your customers either, they’re an excellent source of data! If your customers are giving you repeat business, this is a great indicator that your business is in the right stage to think about expansion.
2.You have the finances
One of the biggest dilemmas entrepreneurs face is finances. In order to truly take your business to the next level, you need to have a solid financial base. You should have a healthy cash flow and back-up funds in the case of any unforeseen costs. In an ideal world, you’ll have several years of healthy books behind you with minimal debts and sufficient cash in the business. This will enable you to successfully expand without fear of financial failure.
3.You have the necessary systems in place
In order to ramp up your business and prepare for growth, you need to have all of the necessary systems in place to do so. If your sales tripled overnight, could your business and your team handle it? You need to be realistic about what you can take on, and ensure you have accounted for this when planning your expansion. You will need to keep a close eye on your inventory and forecast sales growth, considering the impact this will have on production.
4.You need extra room…literally
Are your business premises becoming cramped and claustrophobic? If space is becoming an issue, this is a big sign it’s time to expand and free up some extra desk space! It is, however, important that you don’t act on one busy month. Sure, you might have had a record-breaking July but how will August and September compare? Make sure you don’t forget to look before you leap, but if the upward trend continues and staff need extra space then it’s time to expand.
5.You have the right people around you
Having the right team around you is one of the most important foundations of growing a successful business. You need to surround yourself with like-minded, reliable individuals who you can count on. Expansion may require additional workload for employees, so it’s important that you’re working with a loyal team who also want to see the business grow.
It’s certainly easier said than done, but if you’re asking yourself ‘how do I do it?’ there are a number of ways you can expand. You may consider adding a new product or service, expanding into new territories, taking out a business loan, targeting new customer markets, selling shares in the business, or acquiring another business. Whatever route you may decide to go down just ensure that you’ve surrounded yourself with the right people and above all, trust your instinct.