When it comes to expanding your business, there are several risks involved, the biggest of which being sacrificing your production quality to serve your new (and larger!) clientele base. It can all become overwhelming rather quickly, and without careful planning, it can actually bring a company to its proverbial knees. That said, it’s not impossible to scale your business and continue to produce high quality products―in fact, it’s far from it! All that it requires is some select and careful planning from the top tiers of the company.
Make Sure You Want to Expand and You’ve Set Expansion Goals
While this may seem trivial, it is absolutely necessary that any business getting ready to grow their company makes sure that they are ready for it. With great power comes great responsibility. If you are not prepared to take on more responsibility, then expansion will not work. You must be mentally ready for the challenges that will arise. Once you have that out of the way, establishing goals is a must if you want to have a successful venture.
- How fast you want to grow
- Which markets you want to break into
- What new products you’d like to produce
- Where will expansion lead―franchise, incorporation, overseas ventures, etc.
All of these goals need to be set early, before expansion even begins so you have a direct line of sight to your end goal (or at least your next mile marker).
Know Your Company (Core Competence)
Again, perhaps this seems like an inconsequential step, but it makes a world of difference to understand your company from the inside out. You and your team must completely understand what it is that sets you apart from the rest of the competition before you can take on the competition. You must be able to identify without delay:
- What makes you unique
- Your brand
- Your company culture and values
- Your mission as a corporate entity
- How you want your clientele to see you
Once you have established this, you must take it a step further―you must identify how your clients see you. If you have adhered to your mission statement and established a strong set of values within your corporate culture, then they will most likely see you the way you intended; however, this is not always the case and it is imperative to find out how you are viewed in the eyes of the public before expanding. If there is any discrepancy in how you view yourself and how your audience views you, then growth will be turbulent and may collapse.
Build Broad Management Skills for Upper Management
Growth and expansion is full of unknown variables. This means that it is imperative to have a team behind you that can not only keep stability within the company but be prepared to handle the unexpected when it arises. By building a strong skill set of complimentary and broad management practices, you’ll be able to maintain firm policy during your expansion while having the leverage to overcome any obstacles that arise.
Establish Protocols and Processes That Are REPEATABLE
This is an incredibly important step―while management must be ready to take on changes head-first, your support staff must have stability in order to maintain the quality of production required during the expansion. Therefore, it is imperative to establish a standardized and repeatable process for each of your departments and your staff members to follow and keep the company grounded. Any and all changes to standardized processes must be slow to implement and must be with good reason―superfluous or unnecessary changes can slow down production and affect the quality and efficiency of production.
Understand the New Markets You Are Breaking Into
When it comes to breaking into new markets while expanding, it is of the utmost importance to learn about them backwards and forwards. Without this knowledge, you will not know how to properly market your products to them. Make sure in any new market you can answer the following questions:
- Who makes up my targeted market?
- What is/are the biggest benefit(s) I can bring to this market?
- How diversified is this market?
- How does this market perceive my company?
- Which other companies are in this market? Which of my competitors are in it?
- Is this a growing market or not?
In making sure to answer all of these questions, you can gauge what your production process will look like down the line and what your marketing strategy will be so you can more accurately estimate your potential profit margins.
Finally, Make Sure You Are Financially Informed―Hire an Accountant That Can Help You Plan for Growth!
Last but not least, remember that in order to grow, you must be financially viable and you much have the resources to do it. With an experienced accountant, you can receive detailed reports about your company’s financial standing and growth capabilities. This is essential in planning for any upgrades to buildings, staff, equipment, and marketing, as well as for understanding where you cannot make immediate changes. Once you have the financial plans all underway and an experienced accountant to offer advice and guidance throughout, you will be absolutely ready to expand without sacrificing the quality of your products and services.
Have more questions about how you can expand your business and cope with the finances that follow expansion? Call Beaton Accounting today and we’d be happy to help! 631-921-6894.
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