Signs It’s Time To Expand a Business
As a small business owner, you know the stress of taking the leap of faith.
It’s something you’ve had to do over and over again since you started your business. When you first decided to open your business, when you left another career to become your own boss, when you invested in yourself.
Small business owners are nothing if not courageous and they know only too well how stressful it can be trying to weigh the pros and cons of each business changing decision.
One of the biggest decisions a small business owner will have to make is when is it time to expand a business. In the growing phase of the business, you often work long hours and take on more than you can handle to get the business up and on it’s feet. But how do you know when it has legs and when it’s starting to get away from you?
It’s a tough call, that’s why it’s important to look out for the tell-tale signs that you’re ready to expand your business and take on additional staff.
You need more skills
Sometimes it can feel demotivating when a client requests a service adjacent to your skills but not in your wheelhouse. You can do so much but this particular thing isn’t in your skill set.
If you are getting requests for this service regularly, it’s probably time to upskill so you can offer it or bring in another professional who you can delegate the task to.
You’re getting asked about other locations
If you have a physical shop front and you’ve got customers asking if you have other locations, it might be time to expand your business.
Chat with your regulars, find out if they are travelling from another suburb and do some research to see if another location is feasible for you in this area.
If your customers are the driving force behind this change, it’s a good move. You’ll have their support once you open the new location.
You’re running out of room
If you’re finding that you don’t have enough room for your staff or clients to move comfortably in your space, it might be time to expand your business. You might want to consider a larger space or a new, additional location.
Before you make the decision, you’ll need to establish if your cash flow is high enough and if the increase in business is consistent. If you’re very busy and running out of space because it’s tourist season it’s not time to expand, it’s just your seasonal peak.
Opportunity comes a-knocking
Sometimes we are forced to expand because an opportunity arises that can’t be passed up. The thing about opportunity is it doesn’t wait for you to be ready, it arrives and you’ve just got to get ready. It might be a piece of real estate in a coveted location or a sale on equipment that could double your output. When a really good opportunity arises you’ve got to have the confidence and the know how to take advantage of it.
You’re a one trick pony
If you’re looking through your books and you find that 90% of your revenue is coming from one service or product it’s time to expand your business.
When the majority of your profit is coming from one thing it can risky because all your eggs are in the one basket. Expand your offerings and find another product or service that performs well with your current offerings and engages your customers. For example, if everyone is purchasing your social media packages, add email marketing campaigns or SEO copywriting to your offerings. You want to add something complimentary to your best seller but still different.
You’re getting too comfortable
Everything is going well, you know what to expect each month in profits and your cash flow is steady. You’re never overwhelmed or stressed out, it’s just ticking along and you figure if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Wrong.
If this all sounds like you then it could mean you’re stagnating. While we do want to achieve holding patterns as we establish each level of growth, once you’ve established that the new level is achieved and everything is consistent and running smoothly it’s time to plan your next stage of growth.
There’s cash to burn
You’ve got a sum of cash that is just sitting in your accounts and you haven’t got a plan for it. If you’ve accumulated additional savings from the business and the money isn’t working for you maybe it’s time to put it to use. You can invest in a new location, or additional staff, maybe an upgrade for the company’s systems or website.
Are you now thinking it’s time to expand your business?
It can be scary deciding to expand and investing in your business but it’s necessary. There’s always room to grow, space to fill and market to expand into. Do your research and keep an eye out for these signs and you’ll be ready to jump when opportunity comes knocking.
If professional development is part of your strategy to expand your business, check out our Certificate IV in New Small Business or Certificate IV in Small Business Management. Depending on what state you’re in, there could be funding opportunities available for you to complete a qualification.
It is also worth checking out what other support is available for businesses.