With the exception of business owners who buy into franchise businesses, most entrepreneurs start off running their business on a small scale and gradually take on more responsibilities and eventually grow into having multiple locations. Whether a self-starter or a franchise owner; the ultimate goal of every business owner is to have a successful business that yields profit on a sustainable basis.
As your business continues to grow, you will reach a point of saturation where you have to make a critical decision on what next to do. If your business is profitable, expansion will naturally be the next step. The most critical element when contemplating expansion is timing.
Here are a few pointers to help you decipher if the time is right:
· A new market has emerged for your products or services
· Customer needs and demands are exceeding your current capacity
· Employees are often overwhelmed and are overworked
· Your store is always crowded and many orders are going unfulfilled
· You are mentally prepared for a new challenge
· You have the necessary funds, manpower and equipment to support additional growth.
If the answers to all the pointers raised above are in the affirmative, then you can actually begin the process of expansion. Using your business plan, you can formulate new strategies that are aligned with your original vision for the business. Again, ask yourself:
· Why do I want to expand ( new market, reach more customers, need more space, need a new challenge)
· Will I require more resources?( staff, equipment, training, space etc.)
· Customer service( will the expansion affect the current quality of service offered to customers)
· Does the financial analysis support the expansion
· Is expanding in line with my vision for the company?
Considering the fact that that a bigger store or a new location does not always necessarily equate to more revenues, business owners must exert caution in determining what type of expansion is most suited for them.
The most important thing is to grow on a sustained basis, not too fast so you crumble and not too slow that you miss opportunities.
Share your thoughts.