Tips for Expanding Your Small Business
From the time you start your business, you should be considering growth. However, business expansion is not the same for every company. This process requires careful research and strategic moves that will protect your company while it expands. These are a few tips you may consider in your growth process.
Consult Your Business Plan
When you started your company, you should have created a comprehensive business plan that included your target market, product or service description, and financial, marketing and management strategies. However, it should also detail the reason you started the company, its purpose, mission, vision and values. This document should guide your growth decisions and strategies. For example, if you plan to expand your product line, you should identify whether those new products fit within your original purpose. If not, are they logical expansions of your current product line?
Your position on the business cycle will determine what types of innovation you should pursue. For example, if your product has taken off and is gaining demand, adding products may not be appropriate. Instead, you may innovate in your application and adoption of automation or features that provide better customer service. You should also innovate on marketing initiatives that promote brand recognition and loyalty. Your goal should always be to expand your market share and customer adoption. This doesn’t always mean spending money on new products or improving your current product line.
Secure Your Corporate Culture
At the start, your company probably had a close-knit, family-like culture. This is easily abandoned or can be difficult to maintain as your company grows. Therefore, you need to establish a lasting corporate culture that can be sustained no matter how much you grow. This strategy starts with clearly defining and teaching your corporate values, vision, and mission. You should also consider your business environment, including how you expect your staff members and managers to treat each other.
Building a strong corporate culture can help you draw the best talent to your company.
As you experience business expansion, you will ultimately have to hire new people. One key to your success is hiring the right people. Search for people who fit well in your corporate culture and have the skills and knowledge you need. Ask questions that move beyond skills. For example, you may ask about your prospects’ interpretation of the company’s vision and values to learn whether they understand will fit in and will support your corporate culture and growth strategy.
You are probably excited at the prospect of business expansion, but take time to prepare for this growth and pursue the strategies that solidify your company’s success.