Expanding your business could help you to make more money in the long run and it could help to boost the reputation of your company. However, you need to be certain that it’s the right time to make this step – expanding is often expensive and you could end up having to take on extra responsibilities, plus you need to be certain that there is a need for you to expand. Here are just five signs that it’s the right time to expand your business so that you know you’re not jumping the gun.
Your market is too niche and you’re failing to attract enough customers
A market that is too niche can make it hard to attract a decent amount of customers. Your business may have been niche to begin with or it could have recently become more niche due to changing trends (for example, if you specialise in selling CD racks, you may have noticed a loss in customers due to the rise of streaming). There are two ways in which you could expand to increase business in this situation – either you start branching out into new services and products that you know will sell, or you could turn your local business into a national/international business. The former option is usually more sensible and will guarantee more business. For example, if you currently sell typewriters and are struggling to get business, you could branch out into computer keyboards that you know there is a demand for.
You’re too busy and you’re having to turn customers away
Expansion could also be a good idea if you’re struggling with the opposite problem of too many customers. If you’re having to turn away customers or you’re getting huge queues, expanding could be necessary to meet the growing demand and protect your company’s reputation. This is a case where expanding could relieve stress rather than adding stress. One of the best ways to expand in this situation is to recruit more employees – these recruitment process steps could help if it’s your first time recruiting staff. It could also be worth investing in technology to automate tasks and make them quicker, plus you may be able to outsource certain tasks as a way of expanding. You could even open up a new store.
Your industry is growing and so are your competitors
If your industry is seeing huge growth and you’re getting more competitors, expanding could help you to establish dominance in the market before these companies make the move first and end up stealing your customers. Perhaps you own a vape store and other businesses have now also set up stores in your area – it could be time to start a franchise in another town to grow your brand or offer other services such as branching out into a coffee bar as well as a vape store.
People are asking you to expand
A great sign that you need to expand is when people you know are actively encouraging you to grow your business. You may have customers travelling from another town willing you to set up a shop in their area or your employees may be encouraging you to expand (this is a good sign as it shows they’re a strong team and eager to take on new challenges). Whilst you should always consider the practicalities of expanding, the fact that there is a demand for you to expand is something that you shouldn’t ignore.
You’re craving a new challenge
If your work has started to become a dull routine, expanding could offer that excitement that you crave by offering a new goal and a new challenge. Some people need to constantly be progressing to feel that they’re achieving something. Obviously, you do need to still weigh up the risks of expanding and ensure that there is a demand for your business. However, enthusiasm to expand is an important factor and can sometimes be enough to make an expansion successful even if the odds are against you.