Considering Expanding Your Business? 3 Things You Need To Do First
There are countless different ways a business can expand. For some businesses, expansion is physical; opening offices in a new city, or moving into larger premises. For others, the expansion is more in terms of the products or services that are offered; adding new product lines, for example, may not change the business’ physical state, but adds to the workload of the existing company.
However, while expansions in and of themselves can differ, the process of expansion always carries a certain amount of risk. While an expansion can lead to more opportunities and greater success, such a significant change in how a business operates always asks questions, enhances stress, and places demands upon the company as a whole.
As a result, if you are considering expanding your business in future, there are three things you’ll need to do before you actually begin the full expansion process, so you can be sure your business is on firm ground.
#1 – Check in with your employees
One of the most important elements of expansion is ensuring that the core of the business will be able to function both during the expansion and after it is complete. In order to achieve this goal, you will need to be able to rely on trusted staff who have proven, time and again, that they understand your business and can help to drive success.
It’s therefore helpful to check in with your most valued employees to ensure they are not, for example, planning to leave the company in the near future; you could even offer incentives and rewards in order to ensure important staff remain with your company throughout the expansion process.
#2 – Thoroughly audit the entire business
In many ways, expansion should only be considered as a way of making hay while the sun shines – i.e. the process should only begin when you are confident that the company is doing well across all areas. If expansion happens when the business is struggling, expansion will highlight and even worsen areas of weakness, so you need to be sure that all is well before contemplating your next step.
When it comes to checking all is well, audits are invaluable; you can audit your financial records and also work with the likes of an SOC auditor in order to gain insight and reassurance into areas such as data security, systems integrity, and much more besides.
#3 – The business’s previous “busy” periods
Whatever type of expansion you are planning, the end goal of the expansion is to gain more business – either by attracting customers by offering a new product or service, capturing the market in a new location, or increasing your overall productivity.
Due to this, it’s important to try and align an expansion with a time of year when your business has previously been busy – for example, if you sell novelty gifts, then targeting the expansion to complete around Christmas is advisable. All businesses have waxes and wanes in popularity throughout the year, so go through your previous records and identify the months when demand has been at its peak.
You can then target these months as ideal completion dates for your expansion, so you can be confident your business will be able to take on a greater amount of business at the perfect time.
Embarking on an expansion is an exciting time for any business, but one that can also be fraught with complications and concerns. By ensuring you do the three things detailed above prior to formally commencing the expansion process, you can be sure that your business is in the best possible shape as it enters into its next phase of life.
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