During the initial stages of planning for your business you probably thought about growth and expansion. At that time, it was more of a dream, tempered by plenty of “what ifs” and “when it happens.” You might now be at the stage where you can seriously consider growth and the expansion of your business. How and when do you make the next step?
When faced with that decision, you definitely want to make sure you have all your bases covered. Growth is not for every business. It can help define success but it can also cause a lot of the fear. Fear of failure can be a big obstacle. As you consider growth, think about the growing pains. Look at the options available and ask yourself: Do I have a plan “A” as well as a plan “B?” One plan is not good enough!
Ask yourself the following questions:
Why are you growing?
- Was this a sudden decision or have you been thinking about this for a few months?
- What were the original plans for growth?
- Is the business on par with those original plans?
- Does this expansion require more staff?
- Will I need a new location?
- Will the business need more money to grow?
- What is happening in the economy?
- What are the current trends and where are they headed?
- What is your position in the marketplace?
- It is growth due to client or product demand?
- How will this affect your family and home life?
First assess your options for growth. When you do make that next step, be financially prepared because you might not see the results immediately. It might take a few months for the process to actually start to produce more revenue. There will probably be more expenses incurred as you strategize and implement the growth. Be ready!
In the end growth can be controlled. It is up to you! You need to take into consideration what your plans are for the business. Growth should be something that is well thought out. Unplanned growth can be disastrous. As an entrepreneur you are a risk taker but those risks should be well-calculated risks. Expansion and growth take a lot of hard work. Make sure you have all your support mechanisms in place. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
The Halton Region’s Small Business Centre is here to help you. One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success. For more information about Halton Region’s Small Business Centre resources and services, and how we can help direct you to the right resources, contact us at 1-866-442-5866, www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.