Is your small business ready to size up? Here’s how to put yourself in a position to seize that growth opportunity when it comes along.
ANALYZE your Products
This is especially important if your expansion involves introducing new products and services. Perform market research to make sure you’re providing what customers want or need, as well as how to reach them with your marketing messages.
ANALYZE the Market
Growing your company may bring you into an arena with a new set of competitors. First, identify who they are. Then do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to guide you in outcompeting them.
ANALYZE your Workflow
A larger business can only operate on established procedures — no more winging it or depending on one person’s knowledge. You may need to improve the efficiency of your daily activities and/or standardize the company policies.
ANALYZE your Cash Flow
Use your financial reports as a starting point to calculate how much money will be coming in and going out as the company grows. For example, payroll will go up when you hire additional employees, and rent/utilities will increase if you move to a larger space. In addition, figure out how much cash will be needed for capital investments such as additional equipment.
PLAN your Team
As you expand your business, you’ll probably need more employees. What skills must be brought in? How will you integrate them with the current crew? Given our current tight labor market, you should also think about rewards packages that will attract the best talent — and keep them on board long-term.
PLAN your Communications
The new look of your business should be reflected in every touch point with customers, suppliers and partners. Review your marketing budget: is it enough, and is it allocated to the right channels to reach your target audience with maximum efficiency and effectiveness? Channels that may require updating include:
• Company website
• Social media pages
• Advertising media such as flyers, sales letters and coupons
• Business documents such as invoices and purchase confirmation emails
• Invitations to try new products or visit new locations
PLAN for Setbacks
Minimize the risks of your new venture by setting aside the funds to survive a slow start or an economic downturn. Identify liquid assets, or those which can easily be liquidated as a last resort.
PLAN External Support
There comes a point in your business growth when you just can’t do it all yourself anymore. If you want to open additional locations, maybe a franchise set-up or buying an existing business will let you do that without taking on a full load of new administrative work. Consider outsourcing some tasks you did yourself when the volume was smaller, such as bookkeeping, payroll processing, accounts receivable/payable and sales/income/payroll tax filings.
Xendoo provides small businesses with a full array of accounting services, from daily bookkeeping to timely financial reports. It’s an affordable outsourcing option that may be just what you need while you take your business to the next level.