So, you think you can grow? There’s no doubt that you can expand your business to new lengths, but the question is whether you’ve set your business up so that it can grow smoothly and effectively.
After all, there is such a thing as growing too fast and, if you can’t keep up with demand, an expansion can spell trouble for your business. Fortunately, with some careful planning and preparation, you can ensure that you and your business are ready to take on all of the challenges and opportunities presented by growth.
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind as you set up your business for expansion in 2020.
Determine whether it’s the right time
Expanding your company before you’re ready is not a smart move. You need to be sure that you’re financially solvent and ready to take on the time commitment to give it your all. Here are a few good signs that it’s time for you to take the next step:
- Your clients are telling you they wish you could provide more products or services.
- Your team is fully booked and you can no longer accept new business.
- Your company consistently receives positive feedback from clients.
- You know your company is meeting its financial goals and you are prepared to take on the time and monetary expenses to see this expansion through.
- You have faith in your existing team and trust that you are capable of bringing on new hires as needed.
- You’ve done your market research and you’ve identified a need that isn’t yet filled.
- Your systems and procedures are streamlined for efficiency, and technology supports your team’s productivity.
If many or all of these points ring true to you, then you’re likely in a good place to grow.
Consider your options
Company expansions come in many forms, whether it’s moving to a larger warehouse, hiring new team members, tapping into a new market, or launching a new product or service. In deciding the right fit, you’ll need to assess the current market demands to find the spaces that are not yet saturated. Where can you fill a need that others have not already?
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It’s worth noting that it’s always best to stick to your lane. It doesn’t mean you can’t try new things, but your growth plans must align with your existing skills and expertise. For example, we started out as a DJ and entertainment company that grew into the lighting and A/V field — it makes far more sense than if we had decided to create a floral design or stationery offshoot.
Strengthen your network
No matter what type of expansion is the right fit for your company, your industry peers can be an excellent support system for getting the word out and helping you to overcome obstacles. Connect with old creative partners, as well as new ones — the more people you have in your corner, the better prepared you’ll be to succeed down the line.
Consider collaborating with colleagues in your market to announce your big news, or perhaps ask to write a guest blog that shares all of the details about your upcoming transition. Working with others in your industry opens you up to new audiences and can make all the difference when launching, moving, or expanding.
Take advantage of tech
Technology is everywhere and, whether you like it or not, it’s a great addition to a company’s workflow. There are countless apps and programs that can support your team in their daily responsibilities, so take some time to evaluate how you can further streamline your company’s processes with technology.
For example, if you can automate expense tracking or email follow-ups, that will free up your team to take on higher-level tasks that will push your business in the right direction. Think about the areas of your business that need help. Social media, file organization, project management — these are all great candidates for a little help from our friend, technology.
Growth is exciting and scary at the same time, but the most important thing you can do is to be prepared. As you expand your business, there will surely be some unexpected challenges and opportunities, so it’s imperative that you set your business up to take those situations on beforehand.