Every entrepreneur starts a business with a dream of growing it to the highest level possible. For a business to move a level higher, however, there must some sort of expansion. While business expansion is meant to move the business forward, it can easily sink the existing business if not handled carefully. That is why it is necessary to have a growth strategic plan in place even before the business takes off to act as a guide along the way. The following should also be considered if business expansion is to be successful.
1. Define the expansion route to take
Expansion can take the form of opening a new physical outlet, an online shop, increasing the product line or penetrating an international market. It is important to define carefully the route you want to take to expand your business. You can do this by doing a market analysis of your products in all avenues.
If you are to go international, find out what the locals in that country think about your products. If you are to start an online shop, conduct an online survey to find out what your target customers think. Diving into the market without a proper analysis can prove a failure eventually.
2. Have the resources ready and stay within the budget
You will need capital to fund business expansion. If you don’t have enough resources, make sure you think of ways to raise the funds. You can cut down expenses, take a loan or look for an investor. Whichever choice you make, just be sure that you have enough money in hand before embarking on the expansion journey.
Analyze the expenditures needed, and have a budget in place to ensure you are staying within the numbers. It is important that you keep everything at the minimum when starting out. For instance, if you are looking to go international to say, China, you can hire talents through China EOR, an employment solution provider that takes care of all HR work for your staff. It will save you the hustle of establishing an entity there and still have a presence in the market.
Instead of hiring full-time employees, consider hiring part-timers until the business brings in enough revenue. China EOR can hire any employee that you need on your behalf.
3. Have a plan in place
Each business growth requires a plan for it to succeed. Define the strategies that you need to take, the objectives and goals that you need to reach. Have deadlines put in place to ensure the progress stays within the timeline.
It is also important to have a business model and structure that the expansion will assume. For instance, if you are to expand internationally, define if you will open a foreign branch, a company, or a sales office.
If you are adding a new product, state if you will expand the current location to accommodate it, or any other logistic that you will need to get it out there.
4. Plan the logistics
It is important to analyze the logistics and ensure that everything is in check before the business begins. If you are adding a new location, consider if you are hiring new staff or moving some of your current workers. Have training started for your new hires. Have procedures and policies in place for your new location and ensure it is in line with the company’s policies.
If you are going global, check the custom regulations and industry laws of that country. Have a flexible plan of how you will handle language and cultural differences. If your products need to be localized, have a clear plan on how to go about it. Decide which aspects of the business you are going to outsource and which ones you will handle in-house.
If you are starting a new product line, take care of your trademark and patent rights. Ensure quality assurance and testing is on schedule.
If you are starting an online store, check if you have enough bandwidth to expand. Consider if you will hire an in-house website manager or outsource to a third party.
Business growth should be taken slowly and gradually. Otherwise, you will be bound to make mistakes that could lead to the expansion being a failure. Make sure that you have enough resources and capabilities to take your business to the next level. Do proper planning and market analysis to understand clearly the dynamics of the market that you plan to step in.
Guest post courtesy of Christian A. Kruse