Expanding Your Business? Use These 4 Invaluable Tactics

business-expansion

Expansion is an exciting and fearful endeavor for any business leader. There is so much inherent potential when you take that leap of faith. Whether it is expanding your current location or opening a new establishment altogether, growing your business is a big investment that is never taken lightly.

Business owners have to take a slew of things into consideration before taking the plunge. Here at Mimeo, we know just how important it is to cover all your bases before making your expansion dreams a reality. We have compiled a quick guide of considerations and best practices for professionals looking to scale up their current businesses. Let’s take a look.

When considering opening a new location you need to sit down and ask some critical questions.

The Most Important Questions
The first step toward taking any risk is to do a little self-evaluation. With such a big project looming on the horizon, business owners need to put a lot of time and thought into some key questions.

  • Is this your best growth option?: Business growth can be packaged in a lot of different ways. Clearly, if you are considering expansion, you feel as though you have grown your current location to its full potential. But have your considered every option? The digital age has a brought a slew of low-cost Internet-centric options to the playing field. Has your business expanded its website? Do you have online ordering capabilities? For some businesses, taking alternative growth approaches is a much more viable option than putting in the heavy investments that a second location or physical expansion require.
  • Can your existing locations function without you?: Expanding your business takes a lot of time and effort. If your current location cannot function without your leadership then this is probably not the right time to open another store, explained Entrepreneur. In order to successfully execute an expansion you need to be able to take a back seat in the day-to-day functions of your first business. Ask yourself, do you have a manager in place who you trust? Would you feel confident leaving the business for a full day? A full week? If this confidence is missing then you should invest some more time in creating a business model and staff structure that allows for this freedom.

“There are so many external factors that play into the successes and failures of any given business.”

  • Is the money there?: Your first business was, and continues to be, a success. A safe assumption to make considering your itch for growth. However, one of the worst things you can do is rely on capital from your first business to fund the growth of your next. Take some to time to figure out whether or not you personally have the savings to kick-start this venture. Your first business should be a separate business entity in terms of finances, asserted Small Business. Many businesses have to close their first location after the failure of their second for this very reason.

When considering opening a new location you need to sit down and ask some critical questions.Best Business Practices
While risk assessment can seem pretty glum, it is a necessary practice in order to make sure you are in the best possible position to open a new location with as few hiccups as possible. Bumps in the road are inevitable, and luckily first-time owners have plenty of experience in this regard. However, just because your first business thrived, it is not necessarily a guarantee that your second location will do the same. There are so many external factors that play into the successes and failures of any given business. The best thing you can do is arm yourself with some best practices to weather the predictable obstacles. Let’s take a look at a few.

1. Do Your Research: There is nothing more important when opening a new business than conducting thorough research. You want to know every challenge, every angle and every possibility before you even vocalize your intentions to expand. Look into everything about the potential of your new location. What is the area like demographically? What are peak hours for business? What services are missing? Where is your competition located? Do rivals have a loyal following? Is the town known for tough building codes? The more ground you cover the better. Preparation is a make-or-break aspect for any new business, make sure you invest in it thoroughly.

Opening a new location requires a considerable amount of research.

2. Invest in Your Team: When the time comes for the actual expansion, you are going to need a good team backing you up. This means securing a strong management team at the old location and investing in solid hiring for the new. You know what you need from staff members, so take the time to conduct thorough interviews and then invest in high-level training, asserted The National Franchise Institute. Create clear and specific training processes and protocols and make sure they are distributed to all your new employees and current managers. The team you hire will dictate the success or failure of your new location, so make sure you are confident in your staff from the start.

3. Make A Plan And Stick To It: You know the saying: Time is money. Opening a new location is a pricey endeavor as is, therefore leaders must try to avoid extending timelines to the best of their ability. Zoning requirements, permits and the like will be a thorn in your side, but they are necessary and you need to provide yourself with ample time to go through the relevant processes, explained NFI. Put a timeline on all your projects, map out how long approvals will take, give yourself room for hiccups and then stick to the plan. Crafting a time-sensitive strategy is the best way to remain on task and save yourself some major cash.

4. Duplicate Your Processes: Part of your business plan will take into account what systems, technology, and other software platforms you will use to run your new location. If the primary location has been operating smoothly, then duplicating your processes for the second may be a good idea. Just because an employee is staffed at the new location, doesn’t mean that you should hold them to new expectations. For example, you would distribute the same employee handbooks and other training materials for your second location. Training new staff with your pre-existing systems and processes won’t replicate the customer experience of the first. All the same, it will help to drive consistency and ensure quality service to the new business. This will also help to provide a fresh perspective on tried policies and processes, which can be modified in training documents and applied across the whole.

 

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