If you’ve been fortunate enough to withstand the financial shocks which rocked many businesses in 2020, and even managed to thrive, you may be thinking that this is a great moment to expand your business. Assuming that you have already had a good idea of the direction you want to go in, just ensure that you’ve taken the following into consideration in your planning.
Are we focused on our core business?
A strong recovery is forecast by many analysts but is by no means guaranteed. What are the factors that have created your success so far? Given the climate of uncertainty, building on your core strengths will be far less risky than venturing into the unknown. That means delivering more of the same, but better and faster. Of course, if you’re an entrepreneur with an idea for a product or service that will disrupt the market – decide whether it’s a risk worth taking
Do we have adequate finance in place?
While recovery is still uncertain, it simply won’t be enough just to cover direct costs of expansion. If your customers have been affected by the prolonged pandemic response, could this have a knock-on effect on your business? Ensuring you have the finance in place to carry you over a period of suppressed demand is essential. Specialist companies such as HS Finance can help with secured business loan applications to make sure you don’t find yourself in a cash flow crisis after making a significant investment in your expansion.
What about workspace?
Are your current premises adequate, or will you need to find larger ones? Or, could you reduce the amount of space you use? With the increased need for social distancing, and many people now working from home, at least part of the week, expansion may result in reduced costs.
Investing in people
Linked to the above. If you’re shifting to a remote working model, keep in mind the duty of care you’ll still have for your home-working employees. They’ll need appropriate tools and equipment to do their job efficiently and safely. Make sure you include these expenses in your plan, along with additional training and support.
Are your systems fit for purpose?
When you expand, will your current systems be able to cope? Ensure any new software you invest in is scalable. New cloud-based PaaS systems, such as MS Azure, are cost-effective, flexible, automatically updated with the latest apps and services. As they typically charge on a monthly, by-usage basis, there’s no need for huge up-front investment.
Do we invest in marketing?
Once you’ve expanded, you need to get out there and sell! How are you going to let customers know about your new services? Is your webpage up to scratch? How are you managing social media for maximum exposure? Consider factoring in the cost of a marketing company into your plan to help generate the best return on your investment.
To be considering expansion, it’s clear that you’re energized and optimistic about the future of your business. With careful planning and a healthy dose of realism, you’ll be ready to reap the rewards of your hard work.
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