If you and your business have made it this far, congratulations! Don’t grow complacent – there is still lots more room to grow, so you need to be judicious as to how you take the next step. Here are some possible paths to consider as you grow your company into the upper echelon of the market.
Get a Loan
Loans can be scary, for obvious reasons. However, you should theoretically be in a much better financial position now than you were when your business began. You have a local company that is thriving sufficiently to make profit and suggest expansion, so that means you already have a dependable source of income with which you can pay back the loan. Talking to banks or lenders should also theoretically be simpler, since you have the paperwork and evidence to show them that you are as good as your word. But don’t get overconfident! Make sure you take out the appropriate amount of money for your specific expansion.
Staffing in an expansion might be a whole different kind of ballgame, so to speak. If you don’t already have an HR person, you should seriously consider hiring one to help take off some of your workload (in terms of hiring but also with intercompany dealings with employees). Managers or other forms of subordinate administrators can also be helpful in (for example) the openings of new locations. For the employees themselves, you have the options to experiment with new local hires, at-home employees, transferred employees from your current location, or even contracted staffing (although it will depend on what you need done). Contract staffing can save money as well as time for your business.
You need to look into just what exactly an expansion would mean for your company. For most – whether a restaurant or a mechanic or a thrift store – that’s going to involve another location. You’ll need to find a commercial property for sale or for rent in one of your pre-selected choices for a new area of expansion. Make sure to do your research, since the success of the expanded portion can make or break most companies’ forays into the larger business world. If yours is a business that doesn’t involve commercial property, you still have some basic equivalent (such as company cars for installations or deliveries) so make preparations as necessary.
From your new commercial property to a larger number of employees, the insurances that you have for your company are going to need to be expanded along with your business. Some insurance companies and policies will have that option ready and available, built-in with the expectation for business growth. Others may not. Talk to your insurance provider with a prepared list of every possible insurance you might need already in mind. This might include various forms of liability insurance, either for transactions on commercial property or within the house of the customer, or the insurance that is provided as benefits to the new hires of your company. Different insurances are made with different-sized businesses in mind, so talk to insurance agents, local lawyers, or other experienced businesspeople in order to better understand the legal landscape of your market.
You never really know how big your business can grow unless you let it off the leash a little bit. This can be a risky time for a business owner, no doubt – but it also can be a time of fantastic profit and learning! If you do the adequate research, network generously with the local business owners of your market, educate yourself in any way you can, and enthusiastically learn on the job, you have nowhere to go but up.
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