In a report compiled by the US Small Business Administration, it was found that 99.7% of businesses have less than 100 employees on their books, which classifies them as a small business. If you fall into this statistic and have managed to pass the 5-year milestone – overcoming all the obstacles a small business faces – you may now be wondering about expansion. But if you are currently meeting demand and have lots of satisfied customers, how do you know if this is the right decision? Below are some signs that your small business is ready to expand.
You Have Plenty of Repeat Business
If you have a strong consumer base, with plenty of repeat business, this is a sure sign that you are ready for expansion. If you aren’t having to spend time and resources chasing customers, you’re in a perfect position to start gathering momentum, as long as you can guarantee the same standard of service and quality of product that your current customers have come to know and love. In fact, if you aren’t looking towards expansion, you could begin to outgrow your current framework and struggle to keep up.
You Have Access to the Necessary Funds
If you’re looking to expand and know that you can fund any new developments, this is another sign that you are ready. However, you need to be able to crunch the numbers; any good small business owner will keep careful watch over their bottom line and carefully monitor any expenses and ROI, as you will not see an immediate increase in profits. Additionally, a financial backup plan is vital for expansion, and a loan can be a lifeline for your business if you need to bridge any gaps in the meantime.
You Have a Good Team Behind You
Of course, you cannot expand if all of your current team members aren’t on board. However, if they share your vision and communication is strong amongst your employees, you have the perfect foundation for expansion. As the business grows, so will your role, and you need to be able to delegate effectively. If you are confident that your staff will help you to reach your goals, then now is a better time than ever.
You Have Met Your Current Goals
Take some time to look over your original business plan and any changes you have made along the way. Have you managed to meet your goals? A great way of measuring your performance is to look at your revenue and sales records, as well as feedback from both employees and customers. If you find that actually there are some goals you have yet to meet, it might be best to put the brakes on when it comes to expansion. If you have met them all, this should provide you with the confidence you need to move forward.
You’ve Carried Out the Necessary Research
Expansion can involve many things, from securing new financing to considering new premises and offering new products altogether. If you have carried out the necessary research involving all your options, as well as any potential hurdles you may need to overcome, you’re in a good position to carry out your new expansion plan. Your new business plan should show that you have a complete understanding of your market and your projected ROI. If you have all of this together, it’s the final sign that your small business is ready to expand.
If you own a small business and have only gone from strength to strength from the beginning, check to see whether or not it’s time to take things to the next level.