Growing Business? 3 Tips To Make A Smooth Expansion
If you are planning on growing your business, it is important that you do so correctly. There have been many stories of companies that grew too quickly or decided to expand before the company was ready to do so. This may result in even quality organizations failing unnecessarily. What are some things that you can do as a business owner to make sure that your company doesn't meet that fate?
Know Why The Expansion Is Taking Place
There are many valid reasons to expand your business into new markets or grow the company by offering new goods or services. For instance, you may decide that there is demand for your goods or services outside of your main geographical sphere of influence. Typically, a company will aim to dominate the market within 100 miles of its headquarters before getting into new markets.
You may decide that your manufacturing plant is too small to handle demand or that you don't have enough people to fulfill orders efficiently. When this happens, it is certainly valid to find a larger space or hire more people. However, make sure that the company is ready to take on the added cost of the expansion. This may be easier if you already know or have good reason to believe that revenues will remain steady or increase over the next several months and years.
Create A Management Team That You Trust
When you move into a new market, it means that someone has to oversee operations there. It is unlikely that you will be able to devote enough time or energy to multiple markets on your own, so it may be wise to hire an area manager. Ideally, this will be done each time you move into a new market or otherwise grow your base of operations.
These people should be good at leading others, have passion for the brand and offer great customer service. By establishing solid leadership in each new location, you can feel good that your brand is being properly represented wherever it goes. It may also give you a chance to develop the next CEO or other top leaders if you decide to retire or simply distance yourself from daily business operations once it reaches a critical mass.
Learn The Culture And Laws Of The New Markets
If you are a New York company planning to take your company to Texas, there may be some differences in culture that you need to account for. For instance, your grocery store may want to incorporate products that are native to the area or develop policies that reflect local values. This may be even more important if you are branching out into foreign countries. It will also be critical to learn about labor and employment laws in any new market that you want to enter into.
Failing to follow local, state or national laws could cost your company a lot of money and damage its brand. If you intend on transferring American workers to foreign markets, make sure that it is legal for them to work there. At a minimum, they may need a passport and visa to get in and work legally. However, it may also be possible to use virtual office space to connect with employees overseas and avoid potential immigration issues.
As a business owner, you want your company to reach its highest potential. However, it is critical that growth occurs in a manageable and strategic manner. If you spread yourself too thin, it may be difficult to provide quality products or service to customers. In turn, this could cause your brand identity to suffer and the company to eventually go under.
This guest post is courtesy of Emma Sturgis.