The goal for most small businesses is to get bigger. To generate more income, and hold a larger share of the market. However, the process of getting from small to big, or expansion as it’s also known can be a challenging one. Fortunately, you can find some of the most essential dos and don’ts to guide you in this process below. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Do get professional advice
While there may be no one that knows the market or field you work in as well as you do, this doesn’t mean that you can benefit from some professional advice when expanding your business. Especially when it comes to sorting your finances.
Indeed, by seeking out a financial professional with experience in the type of goals you have for your business expansion, you can get invaluable advice that can help you to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes. For example, if you are looking to grow your business overseas speaking with a financial adviser that has experience with this can help you decide whether to partner up, buy out, or set up a separate overseas wing of your company.
Don’t expand beyond your means (scale)
One of the biggest mistakes that small businesses make when expanding is growing too rapidly. Of course, it’s understandable in many cases, because it can be tough to turn down an opportunity to expand, especially when you are currently enjoying some success.
Unfortunately, the decision to grow can often be made on a short term successful trend, and this means that either there isn’t enough of a market to support this growth in the long term, or that the business itself doesn’t have an infrastructure flexible enough to scale to increasing demand.
Of course, this means that such an expansion is doomed to failure so unless you want to have to close your expansions soon after you have opened them, it’s very important that you grow your business more slowly and sustainably.
Do shop around when it comes to third party providers
Few small businesses do everything themselves, and this particularly applies to those that are expanding overseas, as they will have to work with several other third parties to achieve success.
With this in mind shopping around to find the best providers for the job is vital from logistics to translators. However, bear in mind that the best doesn’t always mean the lowest price. Indeed reputation, clear communication, and the ability to get the job done effectively and in time also matter a great deal, as they will directly affect your customer.
A particular example of this is picking the customs broker for a shipment when sending products overseas. The reason is that some brokers are much better at offering fast, value-for-money services that will ensure your products arrive when you say they will.
Do create a timescale for your expansion
Studies show that tasks are much more likely to be completed if there is a deadline involved. That is why another essential thing for your business expansion is creating a workable timeline. Such a document should include information such as what needs to be done, by when, and by whom. It’s also important to have a plan for if these deadlines aren’t met, and a regular system of review so you can identify anything that isn’t being completed on time. It’s this accountability that is essential for the long-term success of your expansion.
Do manage your current customer’s expectations
Often when expanding into a new location or market, a business can end up forgetting its already loyal customer base. This is bad news because expansions will put a greater strain on your staff and resources, and this usually means disruptions to the service that you provide for your current clients. With that in mind, rather than disappointing them, it’s much better to get ahead of the curve and let them know what is going on, and how it might impact their experiences. Adding ways to contact you or customer service (chatbots etc) can be useful here too, as it helps to ensure your current customers feel as cared for as your new ones.
Don’t forget to celebrate the completion of your expansion
Celebrating a successful expansion completion is a wonderful form of marketing, and can help raise your brand’s recognition with new and current customers. With that in mind, it’s vital that you don’t hide your expansion light under a bushel and use it to its full extent for your marketing goals.