7 Things to think about when expanding your business
When you operate a business all by yourself, you will know how hard it can be to stay on top of everything. That being said, hiring new staff may not be on your agenda right now and that is completely understandable. One day however, the time will come when you are ready to expand your business and when you do get to that stage, or if you are at that stage now then you have to make sure that you are doing everything you can to ensure your own success.
Meeting your Goals
If you are not surpassing your goals, or if you are not reaching them then right now isn’t a good time for you to expand. The main thing that you need to have is brand recognition, and if your customers are not able to recognise your brand or even remember it then you won’t be doing yourself any good by expanding. It’s a good idea for you to invest some time in trying to meet your goals and it is also a good idea for you to try and adjust your goals as well. After all, if you want your business to be sustainable then this is crucial and if you are not able to meet the targets that you are setting in good time then this can make everything way harder than it needs to be. Going from a solopreneur to a fully-fledged business owner can be hard work, but when you have your company objectives defined, this can really open you up to investors and it can also give you a significant advantage.
Sure, growth will help to bring money into your business but you also need money if you have any hopes of growing as well. This can be a vicious circle when you work on your own. Regardless of this, you need to be prepared to support your business financially until you have the time to really get moving with your expansion. Revenue really doesn’t make your business fully-functional on its own, and revenue and profits really are two different things. If your business is geared more towards profit then you need to consider expanding. If you have revenue but very little profit however, then expansion could turn things around but it is also way too risky for you to even think about right now.
Your Business and Scalability
A scalable business means that you are able to generate an increased revenue without increasing the cost of your current revenue delivery system. You are probably thinking that this is the case for any company out there, but when you look at what scalability really means, you will see that this isn’t the case at all. It ultimately means that the cost of the expansion outweighs the cost of the growth. Businesses will nearly always have operating costs, but scalable businesses really do try and keep their variable costs low. If you are able to do this then there is a high chance that your business is ready to expand. If you currently work on your own as a solopreneur then this could involve hiring new people or it could even mean taking on a higher workload as well.
SEO and Marketing
The first business that you will start will probably be in your local area. This is a great way for you to try and build a network of people and it is also a great way for you to try and make friends. After a period of time, you will probably start to gain customers. The longer you stay around, the more people you have referring other customers to you and you may even find that your social media presence is rocketing as well. This is great, but if expanding means moving your company to a brand new location then you could end up missing out. You need to make sure that you are able to sustain the work and the customers that you have now, regardless of if you move. If expansion means that you will have to start over then this could mean very bad things for your business. You may not be able to get in with the new demographic and you may also find it harder to get to know your target audience as well. When you look at your location-based marketing abilities, you will see that this is very important when you are expanding and brand awareness is everything here. For that reason, if you want to take things to that next level then you really do need to make sure that you do everything you can to take this into account.
Your Head and Your Heart
Your business is all about the bottom line. You are probably having to deal with things like numbers, quotas and deadlines at the moment but when it comes to surviving an expansion, it’s not just about that. You have to take into account the fact that you will face other obstacles along the way. If you are expanding because you think that the economy is good at the moment then it may be difficult for you to find the motivation to make it through these challenges. If you are expanding because you think that it is a good time, then you will be able to make it through the expansion relatively unscathed. The main point to take note of here is that if you expand for the wrong reasons or if your heart is telling you that you are not ready then there is a high chance that you aren’t, so this is the main thing that you have to think about when the time does come for you to start planning everything out.
When you expand your business, you may want to look into things such as high availability systems. This is a great way for you to really take advantage of a new and improved system and it is also a great way for you to really make sure that your business can always be seen. If you know that you cannot afford the technology to meet the requirements of your expansion however then this can cause you problems. You may experience things like server issues and you may also find that your system isn’t as secure as it should be as well. If something should happen as a result then there is a high chance that your customers won’t trust you as much as they should and this can easily bring the whole thing crashing down. If you want to avoid this then you can set a budget for your technology, price everything up and then find out if expanding is a viable option based on the potential income you are going to have.
Think about it, if you know that you rely on your business to provide you with a good source of income or if you know that you need your business to fund your lifestyle then an expansion may put a dent in this. There may be a good period of time when you make less money because you have more expenses. For example, if you decide to add to your team then you are responsible for paying their wages and you are also responsible for making sure that they are completely happy as well. If they are not, or if something happens then you could open yourself up for a lawsuit. If you are able to sustain your lifestyle, even with the financial hit then this is a clear sign that expansion could be the way forward.
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