It is a major accomplishment for any professional to actually produce and implement a business plan, especially if the business proves lucrative. However, simply establishing the origin of a brand does not mean the development battle is over, as it is a process that never ends until the actual business changes hands or collapses. The next part of growing a business is to implement actual expansion plans, which may entail hiring new employees, opening new locations, forming new partnerships or launching new products and services.
Although many may prove reluctant to expand, especially if they have already achieved moderate success, business growth is an important part of remaining a leader in one’s market. Here are a few things to consider when determining if it is the right time for business expansion:
- Financial Resources
When starting a new business, it is typical for entrepreneurs to seek financial assistance from lenders or investors. While these resources are necessary for start-up, in later stages of business development it is not always the best course of action. Before pursuing a new plan for expansion, a business should have enough, or at least a great portion, of money to fund the projects internally.
- Is There a Consumer Demand?
Although business expansion is an anticipated goal of any new company, the timing must always prove right. Entrepreneurs should never pursue business expansion, just for the simple sake of becoming larger. Instead, through market research and feedback analysis one must determine if consumers want more of the business. Those who have begun to receive purchase orders or have gained multiple requests to grow to a new geographic location may have enough public demand to expand in some capacity.
- Building off Competitors
While many entrepreneurs may regard competitors as an obstacle, they can actually prove useful in making decisions to expand. It is important to maintain market intelligence that will reveal when competitors are testing market growth and expansion. If these competitors prove successful, then it may prove time to follow suit and grow as well, as a market demand was already demonstrated by the competitor’s action. In reverse, if a competitor is not successful in expansion, an entrepreneur can rest assured that they avoided a mistake in growth and will know to wait for a better opportunity.
When Eagerness Becomes the Enemy
As many small business owners will say, their company is their baby. However, it can prove harmful to an overall brand if entrepreneurs multiply without giving that first “baby” the attention it deserves. It is important to pay attention to the above clues to make the decision to expand, but at the same time eager entrepreneurs will benefit from remaining patient and taking time to craft a solid business in a slow-and-steady stride.