For any start-up venture, growth will always be part of a business owner’s goals. But expanding too early can be disastrous for any business. Releasing new services or product lines, or adding new employees too soon at the first sign of growth can have devastating results.
There’s a right time for everything. For business owners, here are 12 signs that your venture is ready to grow:
- You have established a loyal customer base. A good number of repeat customers is a sure sign that you’re on your way to growing your business. It indicates that your products or services are in-demand and that your clients are satisfied with the quality you’re offering.
- Customers are looking forward to see your business branch out. If you’re noticing a steady stream of out-of-towners flocking to your establishment and wishing that they have the same products and services in their area, it’s a good indicator that your business has room to grow.
- Your profits have been growing steadily for the past three years. A spike in your sales should not be considered a justification for a business expansion. The surge in profits could be temporary. However, if your profits are steadily growing for the past 3 years, then you’re obviously doing something right and it could be high time you did your customers a favor by expanding your business.
- You have a formidable team. To handle the growth of your business, you must have people who are willing to take on the demands and challenges of expansion. Sure, growing a business will entail long hours and possibly burning the midnight oil. If you have a strong team who you can trust to take charge of a second location, then your business foresight is 20-20.
- You’re hitting targets. A clear indicator that you are ready to grow your business is when you find yourself already hitting the goals you have initially set during the starting/planning phase. If you’re meeting your business objectives, then you’re up for new challenges.
- Your industry is growing, and you have a growing market to prove it. You know it’s time to expand when you have a business catering to a steadily growing market.
- You can no longer accommodate new customers. If you find yourself turning away more customers, or are too busy with non-core but critical functions, it may be high time to grow your manpower (and perhaps, a bigger office?).
- Your clients are looking for other products/services from you. When this happens, listen to them. It could be high time to add to your current line-up of products or services.
- You have established an operational system. If you have established an efficient system for your company, then you’re in for the long haul. Don’t forget to document these processes in easy-to-understand manuals for easier turnover and training.
- Your room is getting more cramped. Find yourself hiring more people than your establishment can fit? It could be time to find a bigger office space to accommodate your growing team.
- Your finances can back up your plans of expansion. A consistently positive cash flow is the foundation for a business that is ready to take on the challenge of growing.
- You’re emotionally ready for this big hurdle. All the signs mentioned would be irrelevant if you, the business owner, are not ready to take on the challenges of expansion. Remember that growing your business will entail a few compromises, such as less time for yourself and your loved ones, until you can achieve normal rhythm.