Now that your company has been stable and successful for a few years, you may be ready to think about expansion. Growing your company by opening up its ability to handle more business is a great way to capitalize on your success to-date.
However, don’t make the mistake of rushing into an expansion without properly planning things out. This could lead to a slow but steady undermining of your business and all the hard work that’s gone into it. Instead, take the time to make sure you’re doing things right.
Here are some important things to consider when planning your next phase of development and growth:
Assess the Company’s Progress to Date
Review your original mission and objectives for an overall picture of how the company has performed since it began. Look for patterns of growth along with financial dips or setbacks to determine if the current status is likely to continue. You will then be able to decide whether to continue current operations or make changes to prepare for expanding the business by doing what you have been doing, except on a larger scale, or changing your modus operandi altogether.
Evaluate the Financial Forecast
Successful small business expansion not only lays plans to avoid past mistakes and failures but also looks at better ways to enhance future development and growth. Analyze the current economic environment, or read informative resources for an idea of how the financial forecast could impact your company’s next few years. Then make expansion decisions accordingly. If external financing is needed to take your company to the next level, an unsecured small business loan could offer a relatively safe opportunity to invest in things the company needs to move forward or increase productivity.
Explore Expansion Options
If your organization’s mission has changed since the beginning, reflect on whether that has helped or hurt company growth. The mission may need to be adjusted accordingly. Give some thought to various types of expansion that might sustain or even expand profitability. For example, you may decide to drop an auxiliary service that is costing the business money, and then re-allocate those resources to other parts of the company that are doing well so they can grow. This might include hiring more employees, diversifying your products, or updating older equipment. It may be helpful to meet with a business consultant or seek the advice of a mentor to tap their experience as you consider the possibilities for how to grow your company. Your expansion plan should be thoughtfully tailored to your company’s unique characteristics, strengths, and challenges.
Solicit Customer Feedback
In addition to creating a company-based plan for growth, you might find it helpful to seek customer feedback. This can be done through surveys that are mailed or emailed to your customer database. Telephone calls or website surveys can also be effective. Responses may indicate the type of services or products customers would like to see added to the company, and perhaps even determine the cost they are willing to pay for these additions. Your effort and financial investment should be put toward the types of things customers would like to see added or expanded to the company’s current offerings.
Expanding the company’s facilities, capabilities, or product line can increase the potential for greater success. Thoughtfully evaluate your company’s past and present before building a future model. Then organize your growth plan and initiate the process, whether by taking steps like consulting with experts or by applying for an unsecured small business loan.