Building a business is no easy task, as any entrepreneur will tell you. To take the business from a simple idea to a viable money-making entity requires dedication, perseverance, and a great deal of planning. Many a successful business has been sunk because they have attempted to expand at a faster rate than they were prepared for. A business which is healthy and performing well in one location can quickly crumble if it opens a second location before it is ready for the extra financial pressures.
By contrast, being more cautious rarely causes a business to fail. When growing and expanding your business, it is worth taking the time necessary to ensure that your business is in perfect health and as perfectly positioned as possible to cope with the extra demands that come with expanding. Here are some simple ways to encourage your business to grow in preparation for expansion.
Build Brand Awareness
If you are thinking about expanding your business, then ideally you should wait until you have accrued enough brand awareness for people outside of your current customer base to want you to expand. This will tell you that your business has the necessary appeal and that it is capable of generating word of mouth interest. Social media is probably the most effective way of building awareness in the current business environment, but it is important that your social media offerings stand alongside other methods. It is important that your business has a decent website; a social media profile is no substitute for a professionally designed and fully-featured website.
Another excellent tool for building brand awareness is the HARO (help a reporter out) program. This connects businesses with journalists and bloggers who can then help to spread the word about your business and brand.
Hire the Right Team
During the early days of a business, it is most often an individual or a small team who are handling everything themselves. As the business grows, it will need to take on more people. If you’re planning to expand, it is important that the people you hire are the best people for the task. In order to do this, you need to think carefully about the kind of skills that you will need on hand to make the expansion go as smoothly as possible. It is important that any job adverts you write are thoughtful and considered, and that you devise an application process which will ensure that the final candidates you consider are the most suited for the role.
Have a look at the various applications listed on jobapplicationcenter.com for some examples and inspiration for working out your own process.
Consult Your Customers
Finally, before you press ahead with expanding your business, ask your current customers what they think. You can learn a lot from your customers and they are your best metric for assessing if you are ready to begin expanding or not.
Growing a business too rapidly can be very risky. Just because your business is performing superbly in its current setup doesn’t mean that it will be able to handle expansion. You need to make absolutely sure that all the relevant pieces are in place before you commit to any growth plans that will place new strains on the business.