Running a startup or a small business can be exciting, particularly if you’re planning to grow your enterprise. However, knowing when to expand your business can be tricky. If you begin growing too soon, you could overstretch your resources. Conversely, waiting too long could mean that you miss the boat.
With high rates of entrepreneurialism in the U.K., there are plenty of small business owners getting ready to take their enterprise to the next level. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to know that you’re making the right choice, at the right time. To help you decide, take a look at these seven signs that indicate you’re ready to expand your business:
1. There’s Consistent Demand
If you have a healthy customer base and are acquiring customers regularly, there’s clearly a good demand for your products and/or services. However, you’ll want to see this trend continue for some time before you consider growing your start-up. Once demand has reached consistently high levels, you can be confident that this will sustain your business throughout its growth phase.
2. Your Industry is Growing
Industries evolve over time, so you’ll want to focus your growth plans on an element of your industry that’s growing. Some sectors, like printing, have seen a downturn since the rise of technology. By accurately predicting how your industry is set to change in the coming years, you’ll have a good insight into which services and products will continue to be in demand. Of course, you don’t have to make these predictions out of thin air. Knowing your sector well and staying on top of the latest industry news will give you the insight you need to identify what the future holds.
3. You Have Funding in Place
Depending on how you plan to expand your business, you may require a significant amount of investment. While a profitable trading history will help you to secure the financing you need, it’s important to calculate your costs carefully. However, there’s no need to let past financial difficulties hold you back, as even those with bad credit have options. Whether you choose to take out a business loan, sell some shares, or secure a private investor, getting the funding you need in place will enable you to move forward with your plans for expansion.
4. You Have a Good Team
As your start-up grows, it’s highly likely you’ll need support from a team of employees, freelancers or subcontractors. If you want to expand your business and take it to the next level, you’re going to be even more reliant on your team. By making sure you have the right combination of expertise, you can increase your chances of achieving commercial success. No matter what sector you operate in, you’ll need a variety of skillsets to help you achieve your goals.
5. You Have Brand Recognition
Creating a brand identity is one of the first steps to launching a successful business. When you’re first starting out, you’ll want to establish your brand and ensure it becomes recognisable within your target audience. When people automatically associate your company name with your logo, or know exactly what your business does when they see your name, for example, it’s a sign that your brand is becoming well-known. The better known your brand is, the easier you’ll find it to acquire and retain customers, so this can be a good sign that you’re ready to take your business forward.
6. You’re Motivated
If your business is doing well, expansion might seem like the logical next step. However, take the time to ensure that you’re still motivated to continue with your enterprise. Being a business owner is hard work and requires a lot of dedication. If being an entrepreneur isn’t quite what you dreamed of, you may not want to head up a larger organization. There’s no requirement to grow your business, even if you’re racking in record profits, so don’t feel pressured to expand unless it’s something you genuinely want to do.
7. You Have Growth Plans
You might want to expand your business, but do you know how? There are many options to consider when it comes to growing a business; from setting up premises in a new location to diversifying your product line or adding a new service, for example. Furthermore, you may want to take your business international or deliver B2B, as well as B2C, services. With endless options available, you’ll want to have a strong growth strategy in place before you commit to changing your operations.
Preparing for Business Expansion
If you’ve ticked all the right boxes and you’re eager to get your plans underway, it’s time to start preparing for expansion. With a comprehensive growth strategy in place, you’ll already have your goals mapped up. With the right support, input and expertise, you can begin the process of expanding your enterprise and building your empire.