When Is It Time to Expand Your Business?
Small Business owners have a lot of questions about expansion. Some questions have a simple answer, while others are a bit more complex. Those answers can really vary by your industry. In some situations, a small business could snag a big client, and that’s the only trigger they need to begin growing. Others grow in increments; quietly building until they feel like a change is absolutely necessary. Of course, when it comes to expanding your company, you must evaluate the current state of your business and determine where your efforts will be most effective. Are you ready to expand into a pre-engineered metal building? To maintain success in an expansion, your company should still be bringing in profits, and your time should be used efficiently.
How do you know the right time to expand your particular business? Here are a few indications it might be time for you to grow into a pre-engineered metal building.
Are you starting to get requests from your customer base? If people like your product, they’ll want to gain access to it in more ways. But, as you make the decision to grow, make sure your expansion exposes you to new customers too. Here’s the kicker – establish a way that guarantees that they stay faithful to you while you go through growing pains. Furthermore, getting tons of leads or orders with regular or minimal effort is a great problem to have, and might be one of the first signs that your business is ready to for an increase. When the gas pricing website GasBuddy.com was in its infancy, an increasing number of requests from reporters and business analysts forced the company’s growth. Now the popular retail fuel site updates gas prices at nearly 130,000 stations in the U.S. and Canada.
The Business is Profitable
Have a steady cash flow? Strong sales? If you have the capital, and the means to grow without jeopardizing your livelihood, it’s time to expand. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos found himself with a tremendous cash flow after starting his business in 1995. In the first two months, sales reached $20,000 a week and have continued to grow ever since. My word of caution: don’t expand too fast. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by a new load of responsibilities.
You Have a Good Team of Employees
If you have the right team behind you, the potential for success is increased. It doesn’t matter if you’re a two-person team, or 20 employees work at your company. If the right people are in place to facilitate an expansion into a pre-engineered metal building, do it with employees you trust.
The Industry is Expanding or Changing
While I would never suggest forcing an expansion on your business, sometimes if there’s a change in the industry or marketplace, it might be a trigger to start looking at expansion. Your business is affected by a variety of factors, and one of those is the very industry you’re in. Maybe the competition is building and you must develop a plan to increase your outreach. Just make sure you make the best decision for your business. Don’t blindly expand – do it with a purpose and a plan. If a new product is released by a competitor, it might change the way you do business, or how you deal with the people that don’t want to use a new invention. Even missteps and government regulations could impact the way your business operates. In 2010, British Petroleum changed the way it operated because of a disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. New regulations shaped how the organization, and others of its kind, function today.
You’ve Got More Business Than You Can Handle
Maybe your employees can’t keep up with production. Mistakes are made, meetings are missed, and productivity falls. These ‘failures’ in the everyday hustle and flow of a workday might make it seem like expansion should be last thing on your plate. But take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Why are these mistakes being made in the first place? Maybe you’ve taken on more production than you can handle. Consider hiring more employees and expanding to a steel building to access your stock and provide more space to work. At this stage of your small business, if you’re just running out of room, you KNOW it’s time to expand into a pre-engineered metal building.
Remember, with growth comes more responsibility. This business is your dream, but growth isn’t for everyone. Some small business owners are content with the way their business operates now. Ask yourself: Can a larger version of my company do as well as it’s doing right now? If no, stay small and make some incremental changes. However, if you think you can improve by growing, then you might want to pursue some type of new development.
Gauge your position in the marketplace, and make the best decision for YOU.Photo courtesy: Dawn Willis Manser, Staffan Scherz, Ron Porter, OSTFlorida