The majority of business owners and entrepreneurs have ambitions to grow and expand. Growing a business isn’t always easy, but there are steps you can take to facilitate a smooth, seamless transition. If you’re looking to open new stores, outlets or offices, create new product lines or increase client numbers, here’s an informative guide to help you minimize risks and achieve your objectives.
Expanding existing premises and opening new branches
Most businesses either rent or own premises. Whether you run a store, a restaurant chain, storage or warehousing business or marketing, sales, accounting, real estate, law or travel company, growing your business may involve extending existing premises or opening new branches, offices or outlets.
If the plan is to increase capacity, there are two main options. The first is to stay put and create more space and the second is to relocate. If you plan to renovate, build or extend, it’s wise to consider the advantages of modular buildings and construction. Modular structures enable you to grow over a period of time, they offer rapid results and they give you a great deal of flexibility in terms of design, cost, and size.
The model is also scalable. If you continue on an upward curve, you can add more buildings in the future. If it’s not possible to develop existing business premises and relocation makes financial sense, take your time to find the right site. Think about the importance of location. If you don’t rely on footfall, and you don’t need to be the center of a town or city, moving out to the suburbs or the outskirts could save you a lot of money and enable you to capitalize on larger sites.
Opening new branches can be exciting, but it does require careful planning. If you’re opening more than one store, cafe, restaurant, hotel or office, it may be beneficial to think about staggering the opening dates so that you have time to ensure that every box is ticked for each site. Use your experience of running existing outlets to prevent teething problems and make improvements.
Personnel and staffing changes
If you are expanding your business, it’s highly likely that you’ll be welcoming new faces to your staff team. You might also be weighing up the pros and cons of adjusting your staffing structure. If there are changes in personnel, planning in advance is crucial for both new and existing members of staff.
Ensure that any relevant training is organized before new starters join and set up meetings to introduce new
Introducing new technology and equipment
Technology is increasingly influential in modern business, and more and more company owners are choosing to invest in cutting-edge technology, equipment, and machinery to improve efficiency, reduce costs and provide a better service for customers.
If buying new equipment is part of your growth strategy, it’s critical to ensure that your employees are aware of new developments and that they have the necessary knowledge, skills, and training to operate tools, systems or machinery and get the most out of it.
Investigate training courses and programs, organize demonstrations and provide one-on-one or small group training sessions for those who will use the equipment most frequently and those who still have questions or concerns after the initial workshop or course.
Business owners will also need to be aware of health and safety regulations related to new technology, tools, machinery or vehicles. Make sure you have the relevant safety measures in place before you authorize your employees to use new equipment.
Customer engagement and communications
Business owners who are looking to expand and develop operations have usually reached a point where they have a loyal client base. If you have members, regular customers or repeat clients, don’t forget about them and focus all your attention on telling new customers about your new products or services or a store, bar or restaurant opening.
Engage with existing customers, share your news, keep them updated on the progress of your projects and encourage them to get involved. Rewarding loyalty and taking good care of your clients is an excellent way to expand your client base, to improve ratings and review scores and to enhance your brand image.
Invite clients to events at your new outlet or tell them all about the services or products you’re now offering. Use channels like email, social media and your website to keep in touch with customers and offer incentives and rewards.
Growth requires investment, and it’s vital toto ensure you can afford to execute your plans and to prevent cash flow issues. Timing is crucial when expanding any type of venture, and it’s best to wait until you’re generating profits to spend more.
You’ll also need to consider political and economic factors and make sure there is a demand for the products or services you’re offering. Uncertainty in the markets and political unrest can impact businesses of all scales and sizes. If your cash flow isn’t stable, and external factors are likely to have an effect on your company in the near future, it may be wise to wait.
Growing a business can affect employees and customers. Change is inevitable, but it’s not always easy to embrace. If you’re thinking of expanding your company, and you’re keen to ensure a seamless, stress-free transition, it’s useful to plan ahead, communicate with staff and clients, and to focus on how you’re going to turn the ideas in your head into a reality.
Consider your options in terms of developing your business premises, evaluate your staffing structure, take steps to integrate new employees and adjust to new technology, keep an eye on your finances and engage with new and existing customers.