After small business or startup owners have a mere taste of success, there's a good chance they've given business expansion a serious thought. Rapid business growth can be both an exhilarating time but also one that must be done with caution and typically on a small business budget. The opportunities are wonderful, but as your business grows you need to make sure you're ready for the next level. Let's explore a few of the key areas that must be planned and considered with care prior to rolling out your expansion plans.
Does Your Business Have the Space Essential for Growth?
All businesses have a physical workspace, whether it's a small office in your home or a massive warehouse. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses in America occupy 30 to 50 percent of all commercial space. Are you able to grow where you are, or do you need to move upon your expansion? Your decision can open up a can of worms, as you have to find new premises and manage all costs associated with the move, as well as the time it takes away from running the business. Make sure you can afford the short-term drain of cash flow and time that accompany the move.
Make Sure the Staff is Involved
Keep your staff in the know throughout the expansion process. It makes sense to operate this way considering your internal employees possess inside knowledge of business relations. Realize that keeping your staff involved in the growth of a business gives them a sense of pride and ownership in the long run and helps create a team that will work well together. Make sure not to over-burden your employees as you rely on them.
Manage Existing Customers
Never neglect your current customers -- they got you where you are today. Unfortunately, sometimes the thrill of your pursuit for new business will leave your existing clients feeling like they've been left in the dust. Dedicate employees to manage your existing customers so they don't take their business elsewhere. Maintain personal service so your current customers don't jump ship. You don't want their loyalty to waver during this time of transition.
Small business marketing is always essential as business owners go through an expansion. The key is to get your business message out to the marketplace. As you market your products and services, stick with what's worked in the past and tailor marketing plans based on what you offer.
Keep Up with Administration
While often business administration is viewed as a necessary evil, it truly is important. Ensure that your policies and procedures are in place as you manage new business. This isn't the time to fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best. Ensure adherence to key business procedures so your business operates consistently to prevent confusion among staff and your customers.
Growing a small business should be a fun and fruitful time under the right management. Make certain all aspects of the business are in place to help ensure the expansion goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, issues may arise but a team that's strong and dedicated will help keep the headaches at bay.
How did you prepare for business growth?
About the Author: Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. (Photo Source)