Knowing when it is time and how to take your business to a new level is an important skill for any owner of a business, whether you’re a startup or a nationally recognised company. If you are already doing well in your current market and feel you’re ready for a new challenge, expanding internationally needs some very careful planning. Apply these tips to your business to make sure you’re ready.

  1. Set attainable goals for your business. Make sure the goals you set are specific and measurable, such as gaining three new clients by the end of the financial year or increasing revenue by a certain amount in the next six months. Goals you can measure are easier to track so you can easily see if you’re on track to meet the target or if you’ll need to change things to get there. Make a plan. How will you get from where you are now to your goal? 
  2. Can your company manage growth? Do you have the capacity to manage the growth that you’re planning? Can you afford to grow? Do you have enough staff or will you need to hire new people? Can your suppliers meet increased demand? Do you have a multi currency merchant account that can allow you to work in different currencies? Make sure the answer to all these questions is yes before you work in expanding into a new market. 
  3. Do you have the right management in place? You need someone at the helm who is ambitious, driven and capable of taking your business into a different market. You might need to change up your senior management so you have someone who can help you to grow. Look for people with experience in growing businesses who will be able to advise and steer the ship to success. 
  4. Don’t be afraid to change your plans. You will definitely learn plenty as your business grows. The industry may shift, or the market may change direction. Be ready to respond and adapt your targets and plans to meet these new challenges. There’s no point in staying with a goal that is no longer relevant. Be flexible.
  5. Be realistic about your company. Are you already an established name in your field? If not, don’t try to grow before you’re ready. Concentrate instead on becoming a recognised name at the level you’re at. Growing too fast won’t help your business. Is there enough demand for what you offer? You won’t be able to grow if there’s not enough demand for your business. Be aware that some businesses just work better small, and that doesn’t mean you've done something wrong or failed. 
  6. Are you already growing? If you’re seeing that your business is growing steadily each year, and demand is growing, this is a good sign that you’re ready for a new level. Expand with more staff to take on higher demand and keep making a profit. If you’re not growing, it’s probably not the right time to expand.

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