Six tips for a successful business expansion
Every business looking to expand needs to have a detailed vision of what it wants to achieve – whether this is expanding into new markets, attracting new customers, developing new products or services, or acquiring another business.
To do this successfully there are a few things to consider:
- Careful planning – Make sure you have a detailed business plan at the outset and set milestones to assess progress. An idea can sound great in theory, but a failure to properly plan for all the rewards and consequences of growth can lead to unexpected hurdles along the way.
- Synergy with the current business - Whether you’re looking to grow by opening a new location, expanding your existing site, or introducing new product ranges, it is key to ensure that the expansion is in keeping with your current brand, without compromising any of the quality or customer experience of your existing offering.
- Staffing – Try to ensure that you adequately resource your expansion by hiring new staff where necessary. If you don’t hire enough staff to cope with the expansion of your business, it may lead to your existing staff being overworked which could lead to reduced morale and a worse customer experience.
- Customer feedback - Your customers are key to the success of your business. Be sure to listen to their opinions on what is working best for your business, and what could be improved, and consider these opinions when looking to expand.
- Cash flow forecast - Businesses looking to grow, normally require some element of initial funding before the benefits of the expansion are realised. This can cause cashflow issues during this expansion phase if it is too quick or too ambitious. A detailed cash flow forecast at the beginning of a growth phase is essential to identify where cash might be tight and to assess whether any external funding will be required.
- Doing too much yourself – It can be tempting to try to achieve the growth by yourself, whilst still running your day-to-day business. Ensure you are adequately resourced so that you can delegate to enable you to focus on the most important tasks. Trust in your team is crucial to successfully growing your business.
Those who have successfully expanded their businesses always have a clear vision from the outset. They plan carefully, know what they want to achieve, how this synergises with their current offering and have listened to feedback from their customers and employees. They have a strong brand and product, and this is not compromised by the expansion.