If your venture has been thriving for some time now, it’s likely that expansion has crossed your mind on more than a few occasions. Making this thought a reality could take your company to the next level, providing you with new opportunities and allowing you to attract more customers and generate greater profits.
However, it’s not a good idea to expand your business before you’re ready. There are a number of dangers of growing too fast, such as becoming disorganized and making critical mistakes. Before you expand, it’s important to determine whether your company is truly set for that next step. Read on to find the four tell-tale signs that your business is indeed ready for expansion.
1. You can’t keep up with business
Perhaps the most obvious indicator that you’re ready to expand is that your organization is bringing in more business than it can cope with. If you find that your staff is constantly working longer hours, or you’re having to turn customers away, it might be time to expand.
However, do make sure that you track the numbers involved carefully, as it could just be a sign of a particularly busy period rather than an indicator of sustained demand. You need to be certain that there truly is an appetite for your business, rather than an anomaly that levels out again.
There are a number of ways you can measure long-term performance, including looking at past financial statements and working out the average number of new customers you’ve taken on each month for the last year (or longer). Using these, you’ll be able to know for sure if it’s time to grow.
2. You don’t have enough space
Sometimes, the need to expand can be right before your eyes. If your employees are almost sat on top of each other in the office, you can’t move for clutter, and you’re taking clients to coffee shops for meetings because there’s no space, it’s probably time you scouted out a larger workplace.
Like relocating homes, moving your office can be a highly stressful experience, and whilst this will ultimately be worth it, there are certain things you can do to minimise stress levels. These include: telling your employees well in advance so that they can prepare, involving them as much as possible, and getting as much help as you can.
Hiring a removal company to actually relocate all of your possessions and plan the move for you is highly advised. Many companies, such as Evolve Relocation, now provide start-to-finish project management for moving your office, taking much of the pressure off you and ensuring the move goes as smoothly as possible.
3. Your industry is growing
If the industry you’re in is stagnant, it may not be the best idea to expand. You might run the best fax machine repair company in the world, but this is clearly an industry that’s on the decline. If you grow a business like this, you could ultimately end up losing money, as your market may not support your ambition.
However, if your industry is growing, expanding your company could be a no-brainer. The odds of success are much higher, and you could really stand to gain from capitalizing on a favourable climate. Make sure to keep abreast of industry trends so that you know if your market is on the rise. Investopedia has a great guide to analysing your industry to help you to go about doing this.
4. You want to expand your offerings
Keeping track of industry trends can also help you spot a gap in the market. Whilst you may have a reliable customer base and a popular product or service, you could see a need to expand your offerings. There may be a related service you don’t currently offer which is currently gaining popularity, so it would make sense for you to capitalise on this opportunity and reel in more customers.
Alternatively, it might be that there have been changes in your industry, or to consumer behaviour, and evolving with the times is the only way you’ll get ahead of the competition. Think of consumers now wanting everything on demand as a very broad example of why many businesses have adjusted their business models to meet customer demand. Either way, adding to your offerings could entail expanding your company.
There are various signs that your company is ready to expand, from not having enough space to consistent success. What is most important is that you are aware of the risks of expanding, and have weighed up the pros and cons of both growing your business or staying put. Only then can you make a definitive decision.