In the U.S., approximately 543,000 new businesses start up each month, but a vast majority of these businesses end up shutting down soon after. Sometimes new business owners get too confident too early and decide to expand before they are ready. Once the start-up issues of the business have been overcome, businesses aiming to progress and expand from their current situation will begin to consider the next steps and plan for the future. Planning and strategy is key and there are several ways to survive the weight of these and limit them entirely, so you can strive to not be one of the thousands of businesses fail before they reach their first birthday.
Different businesses will encounter different hurdles when scaling up. First you need to decide if expansion is for you, for some, running a successful small business is more than enough – others want to reach for the moon! If you are seeking to expand your business, then here are a couple of tips, which although may seem obvious, can save you a lot of money and stress in the future.
Naturally, finance is vital to reaching the ‘next level’, making sure that you have the capital for any expansion plans can be the difference between a failure or a triumph. However, it is not as straight forward as just accessing this money and directly channeling it into the growth of your business. In some cases, you may require outside finance to make this possible. Expansion may even require you to put in some of your own money to get the next phase of your business off the ground. Many businesses require a couple of years to get started properly and start making a profit. This same concept applies for an expansion project. Operation costs must be calculated correctly, and you may personally need to cover excess costs as a business owner until sales can eventually pay for them. Essentially, a cohesive financial plan is key.
Physically expanding your business can be a stress in itself. Moving or relocating offices to a more central location can be an expensive move, which requires substantial consideration. Don’t let aesthetics affect your decisions either. If you’re a small business, it’s not likely that you are going to be featured in the next issue of Luxury Offices Weekly. Search for a space which suits your team’s needs, and is appropriate for your budget. If you need to expand quickly, go for a flexible lease. These are a good match for start-ups, as you can leave on short notice if you need to cut costs, or make room for additional staff. Depending on the size of your expansion, you may need to involve removal companies to help take the stress off of you and your employees. If it is more of a manageable move, you can always take on the responsibility yourself. There are all sorts of mobile apps which can help you organize your time and possessions.
Sometimes physical expansion is not a viable option for every business. If you’ve decided after careful research and planning that this isn’t for you, there are other options. While your business is thriving in its current location; in order for your business to grow further, expanding into new markets can be a viable option depending on the strength of your strategy. Even though moving in to new markets can seem like an unnerving prospect, due to the potential risks involved, it can create a vast array of new opportunities for your business, and once you’ve broken into a new market successfully, and have a new bunch of customers, you’ll be pleased you took those risks. Before you know it, you could be booking your international removals and setting up in a whole new country.
Another fantastic way to help expand your business is to form an alliance with another small business of a similar type to yours could be valuable in the sense that you’ll get access to their client base as well as your own. The partnership could prove beneficial on both ends, as you could become an unstoppable force. Target a business whose strengths lie somewhere else besides where yours lie. This way, as a partnership you will be able to provide a diverse range of services, all of excellent caliber, while simultaneously gaining a fresh new client base.
At the end of the day, you will have to make the decisions which are best for your business personally. Considering the advice above could help you realize potential failures which could crop up.
Chloe Hashemi is a writer for StartupNation. She is also a recent English Literature graduate from the University of East Anglia in the UK. She now works in Marketing, at Fountain Partnership. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism in the future.
Article courtesy of StartupNation.