Seven Indicators It’s Time To Expand Your Business
As anyone in a position of leadership in business knows, making major decisions on the direction of the business is difficult.
This applies whether you are running a small business or a large company. One of the most critical quandaries a business leader can face is the decision of whether to expand or not.
Growth is a wonderful thing, but an expansion attempt has heavy risks as well.
If you are faced with this difficult situation, you need to do all you can to make the right call.
You owe that to yourself, your employees, and your customers. Here are seven indicators to look for that it is indeed time to expand your business.
Finances Are In Good Shape
Before even seriously considering expansion, you must make sure your business is financially healthy.
Even if other factors point toward expansion being a good decision, troubled financial circumstances will doom the effort, and perhaps even deep-six the company entirely.
So, examine cash flow, revenue, expenses, and profits to ensure growth and expansion are feasible. If the business relies on outside investment, make sure that is solid too.
Operations Are Running Smoothly
Bumps in the road and minor crises are a fact of life in business, but your business should be operating relatively smoothly before you consider attempting to expand.
It isn’t just that a problem you currently have may get worse if you take on the extra challenge of growing the business.
It’s that a well-ordered business is itself a sign there are expansion opportunities. An efficient, smooth operation is probably ready for more.
Customers Want More
Satisfied customers are the baseline for a successful business. It’s when customers are not just satisfied, but are asking you to do more that it is likely a good time to expand.
Heeding the messages customers are sending you is critical to determining if there is a market for more services.
If your customers want you to produce more of your product, provide higher-quality service, or take care of more of their needs, expanding to satisfy them is probably wise.
Your Industry Is Doing Well
It is possible to expand when an industry (or the economy as a whole) is struggling, but it’s far more difficult.
Conversely, if your industry is growing, there are probably growth opportunities available for your business as well.
Industry growth is a clear signal that there is still more demand out there for your services. Moving fast to take advantage of potential customers before your competitors get to them may be necessary.
Your Team Is Capable
Running a business isn’t a solo activity. Even the best-laid expansion plans will be undone if you don’t have the right team supporting you.
You need a group of efficient, motivated, competent employees if you want to grow. Just remember, expansion means more will be asked of your team.
This is true even if your expansion plans involve bringing on new hires. Don’t just assess your team on their abilities at present.
Consider if they will be capable of what you need from them as the business grows.
You Already Have Some Ideas
Do you already have some ideas for expansion floating around in your head? Or is it something you’ve hardly even thought about?
The ideas don’t have to be full-fledged, detailed plans, to be sure.
But usually, if expansion for a business is a good idea, some potential plans will naturally suggest themselves.
If you are starting from zero, without a clear idea of how to proceed, aiming for growth may not be the right move.
It’s What You Want To Do
Business, contrary to popular opinion, is not just about maximizing profits. The real reward in business is taking on challenges that are intrinsically worth doing. Your business may be doing just fine as it is.
But do you feel that is enough? Or do you want more? Ask yourself questions like these to determine if expanding is the right move.
You will probably need a lot of motivation to see the challenging effort through.
Unfortunately, trying to expand a business does not always work out. Many successful businesses end up failing when they try to grow at the wrong time or in the wrong manner.
This very real risk is why you must be careful before embarking on an expansion effort.
It is vital to examine the situation you find your business in for the seven indicators it is indeed time to expand.