Knowing when and how to take your business to the next level is an important skill for any business owner, whether you own a startup or a nationally recognised company. If you’re successful in your current market but feel like you need more of a challenge, expanding nationally or internationally needs careful strategy planning. Put your business through these top tips to get it expansion ready.
- Set attainable goals for your business. Make sure these goals are specific and measurable, such as taking on five new accounts by the end of the financial year, or increasing revenue by $1million in the next six months. Goals you can measure can be tracked so you know if you’re on track to meet target or if you’ll need to push harder to reach them. Set out a plan. How will you get from your current position to the goal?
- Can your company manage the growth? Do you have the capacity to manage the planned growth? Can you afford it? Do you have enough staff or will you need to bring in more? Can your suppliers meet a higher demand? Is your office large enough to cope with more staff? Make sure the answer to all these questions is yes before you start to grow.
- Do you have the right management in place? You need someone at the reins who is ambitious, driven and capable of taking your business into a larger market. Like Tully Rinckey, consider bringing in a new CEO or other management who can help you to grow. Look for people with experience in growing business who can advise and steer the ship successfully.
- Don’t be afraid to adjust the plans. You’ll inevitably learn more as your business grows. The industry may change, or the market may shift direction. Be ready to respond and adjust targets and plans to get there if you need to. There’s no point in sticking hard to a goal that is no longer relevant. It’s important to be flexible.
- Be realistic about your company. Are you already established in your field and working successfully? If not, don’t try to grow too early. Focus instead on becoming an established recognised name at your level. Growing too fast won’t help you at all. Is there a demand for what you do? You can’t grow if there’s not enough demand for your business. Some businesses just work better small, and that doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
- Does your company owe money? Debt can snowball easily, so before concentrating on expansion try to clear or pay down as much debt as you can. A fresh slate will make growth much easier.
- Are you already growing? If you’re experiencing steady growth each year, with an increase in demand for your business, this is an excellent sign that it’s time to take things up a notch. Expand with more staff to take on a higher demand for your work and keep things profitable. If you’re not growing, it’s probably not the right time to expand.