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Expand a business the smart way: 7 questions to consider

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This guide outlines the key questions you need to ask yourself before you expand a business, in order to do it successfully. As a business manager or business leader in some capacity, it will fall to you to decide on how you can expand your business. Before you go ahead with expanding, there will be some questions to consider in order to get it right.

7 questions before you expand a business

Within this guide, we have put together seven questions of consideration that will benefit you to think about before you expand a business.

Will You Expand Physically Or Online … Or Both?

The first question you need to consider is, what does expanding mean to your business? Will you be looking to expand a business online, or will you be looking to expand a business physically? In some cases, you may be looking to do both, which can be an achievable goal as the two can complement each other.

With your physical expansion, you can help promote the digital side of your business. This could be through advertisements or links to a website on receipts. For the online side of your business, you could have pages and social media posts dedicated to shouting about your new physical expansion to help bring attention to it and drive traffic there.

Will You Need To Change Suppliers?

You may have been working with the same business for years to either gather resources, raw materials, or products that serve a purpose to your business. This may have been perfect for what you needed and the size of your business.

However, a major part of when you expand a business could mean that you need to change to a supplier who can meet your new demands and expectations. Take a look around your industry to see what sort of suppliers stock your competitors, as there may be some deals you can make.

Suppliers doesn’t just refer to products or raw materials. It could refer to something like changing an energy supplier. Your current provider may be providing extortionate prices for what you’re currently paying, or they just may not be able to meet your current demand with a bigger place of work.

Will You Need To Hire New Employees?

Most of the time, expanding means you will have more work on, which could mean you need new employees to meet this new demand. The question you and your business need to consider here is, do you need new employees? It may be possible for you to expand your business without having to physically hire any more staff. You should analyse your sales and forecasts so that you can secure as much data as possible that could help you reach a more informed decision.

If you decide you need new employees, you should think carefully about how many you need and the skills you require to expand a business. Your expansion could fail before it’s even got a chance due to the wrong hiring.

Of course, you will need to create job advertisements to help attract new employees to your business. This means writing job descriptions and finding suitable platforms to host them on, you should know that some will be a better fit for your job role than others. Job recruitment experts Hiring People can provide you with examples of job descriptions as well as templates to give you an idea of the sort of thing you should include in an advert.

Consider speaking to your current crop of employees to get an idea of how impacted an extra workload could be for them. It could be that they have the spare time or resources to handle the extra work, or it could be that you do need the extra pair of hands.

Will You Need To Upgrade Production?

If you believe that it is time for you to expand a business, then that likely means you have more demand. More demand means you may need to upgrade your production. Depending on the current size of your business and the operation you are running in general, it may be worth upgrading the machinery you use. This will be something you need to think about.

In recent years, more and more entrepreneurs have been setting up businesses from home, and this may include you. This could mean that you have been completely operating with hand-made products for now. Expanding could mean you have machinery that automates some of the processes that allow you to speed up production rapidly.

This question will be something you need to think of quickly, as it could take time, effort, and money to upgrade production levels. This means you might need to save towards the machinery, rather than leave it to the last minute. Ponder this question before expanding so that you can be fully prepared for the change.

Will You Need To Halt Production For Now?

Sometimes expanding might mean you have to stop before you ramp up production. For example, if you are moving your production location or storage facility, then you may not be able to keep up to your same production levels in the short term.

This means you should prepare yourself for any time that you need to shut down production when you expand a business. You should build up a stockpile of products that can tide you over while you can’t produce. Of course, this may be easier said than done when it comes to some industries, but you should still give it some time to think about.

Try to limit the amount of downtime you will have when it comes to your production. You can plan for the expansion so that you only have minimal downtime. You may not need to halt any production, it will depend on your business, but it will still be a question for you and your business to ponder over.

Will You Move Location?

Many people looking to expand a business and grow could mean moving locations. It could be moving your production lines, head office, storage, or anything else related to your business. It may be cheaper to expand your current location rather than move everything to a new one.

Consider creating a pros and cons list of moving to a new location, as this could help you make a decision that you didn’t think possible. Moving location could involve moving across to a new city, or even across the world. Think of where will best benefit you and your business.

Will You Change Your Identity?

A business that evolves could lose a part of its identity. In some cases, this may be a good thing, as the previous identity may not have been working for one reason or another. Changing the identity of your business is a perfectly natural thing, something that most businesses will go through during their life.

With all that said, it will still be a question you and your employees need to consider when you expand a business. How will you change, and what will you change? This is likely to mean branding for many businesses, such as changing the logo, house style, colours, uniforms, and other such things. It could be a major shift in identity or a subtle change that means you have changed while still being recognisable as what you previously were. Consider all possibilities, referring to your identity and everything mentioned in this article to help prepare you for your expansion and growth.

Summary

There are many things you need to consider carefully before you set out to expand a business. Asking yourself these 7 questions will help ensure your plan goes forward smoothly!

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