Small businesses may start out small but they won’t stay that way for long. Growth after all is a part of life, the same way with business. Your beginnings may be small but no matter how tiny it may seem, there is the potential for it to grow big and that’s where expansion comes in. The crucial question that comes next is, how do you know it’s the right time to expand your small business? Here are some things you should consider.
Growing customer demand is a good thing. However, deciding if it’s reason enough to expand can be tricky. You have to learn to discern whether this growth is just a seasonal thing or something that is steadily peaking. If it is the latter and the demand has grown to a point that you can no longer fulfill it with your current workforce, then maybe it’s time for you to expand and get more heads.
In a small business, it is often a norm that one person juggles multiple tasks. It’s not so hard to do especially if you’re starting small and there are tasks that can be grouped together and assigned to one person. When there is progress, however, there number of tasks will be increasing, sometimes at a rate that is hard to keep up with. The logical choice would be to hire more people so you can evenly spread out the tasks while keeping the more important ones to yourself.
Quality is often synonymous with consistency. When customers receive quality the first time around, they will be hooked and expect the same thing every time. If you consistently deliver quality, your number of clients will grow steadily. When this happens, customer demand will grow as well and as a result, quality can suffer. Perhaps an expansion will help you to cope with increasing orders and at the same time maintain the quality that your loyal customers have always expected from your company.
Obviously you can’t expand if you don’t have the resources to do so. It would be so tempting to get a loan just so you could but doing so would be a bad move. Expanding your business through the use of a loan will only make your stay on the red line longer. In the worst case scenario, you won’t be able to recoup what you have invested in your expansion project. Before you expand, make sure your business has managed to break even and that you have more profit than loss. You also have to think about your current financial status if you’re able to support new employees and other expenses when expansion leads you to open another branch.
When you’re in a small business, you don’t have to worry so much about data that you store. But as you grow, adding new products and services as you go, the information that once was easy to keep track of becomes a little more challenging to trace. Data management will be no longer be confined to the database in your local area network. If you do expand and manage multiple branches, there will be a need to migrate your database on an online platform that will allow the different offices to access information whenever needed. This means that you will need to digitalize. A cloud platform like WebDAM solutions can help you in better management of your digital assets and make it easier for employees to download or share data no matter where they are. This convenient tool is accessible anywhere and will help business processes become more streamlined.
When expanding your business, don’t do it too fast. Some businesses make the mistake of expanding too much at the same time, spreading itself too thinly, making quality suffer. Some also expand despite not having reached the break even point, sinking further into debt. While it’s wise to be cautious, there’s also such a thing as too slow to expand. If you’re too paranoid, you might miss the momentum along with the perfect opportunity to expand. In business, you have to take risks–calculated ones–but make sure you weigh your choices carefully first.