So your small business is running smoothly and you’re ready to take your business to the next stage in growth. Congratulations! But how do you know if your company is ready to expand? Check out our list of do's and don'ts for business expansion.
1. Do research and make a business expansion plan
Needless to say, opening a second location can take a lot of skilled planning. Consider hiring a financial advisor and attorney to assist you with your business expansion. A financial advisor can help create a comprehensive analysis of the financial investment required and tax implications for another store location. An intellectual property attorney can help ensure that your business’s important assets are in place and protected.
2. Do stay realistic about your business expansion expectations
While you may dream about having store locations from coast to coast, try to be realistic on the location of your second store. Understand that the further apart your stores are, the more difficult it may be for you to travel between each location. Consider finding a store location that will be close enough for you to easily travel to, but not so close that it will cannibalize sales.
3. Do develop training plans
Many small-business owners are accustomed to running all aspects of their company. But when expanding to a new location, you may have to relinquish some control. Be ready to train team members and hire managers who can run your store location in your absence. As your business expands, day-to-day activity should fall on the shoulders of your staff while you focus on future plans.
4. Don’t over-expand your business
Business expansion can be exciting, and you may be tempted to hit the ground running. But try not to overextend yourself and your resources. Rapid growth can put a strain on your company while you're still learning the landscape of your new location. Be patient and consider how to grow at a sustainable rate.
5. Don’t let quality suffer during business expansion
Try not to let the quality of your brand suffer while you're expanding. You may be tempted to focus all your attention on your new store location, but don’t neglect your flagship location. Consider how you can still consistently deliver high-quality products and services at all store locations.
6. Don’t ignore cultural differences if expanding your business internationally
If you’re planning on expanding your business globally, try to be aware of business etiquette in different countries. Do your research on the cultural nuances of the countries you're planning on expanding to. Consider learning the language and respect different styles of communication. Be flexible and understand that the business model used in the U.S. market may not translate to other countries.