Not all business owners want to grow their businesses, but for those that are driven to do so there are various ways you can achieve growth and expansion – some quick, costly and more risky, others slower but cheaper and safer.

To expand well, you have to be thinking about it all the time and ask yourself before making each decision, “Is this going to help me grow in the long term?” It really is a mind-set and if you get that in place early doors, you are in for a winner.

Below, we outline some tips for expanding your business.

Strategies for expanding your business

Acquisition

Buying another business is a very quick method of growth, you often get instant revenue, staff already in place and an established name/location. There, of course, can also be disadvantages (except the revenue!)

Additional markets

You could diversify into other markets by tagging other products onto your business i.e. a coffee shop within your existing retail space, an estate agent in your existing office space (one we have always joked about doing!), selling your products online etc. You could, of course, combine this step with acquiring another business as outlined above.

Marketing investment

A slower, more organic method of growth is simply reviewing your marketing. You could rebrand, create a new website, invest in SEO and more. This method can be tailored to any marketing budget, so can be done conservatively or aggressively. It will also help you get in the growth mindset.

Staff investment

For some businesses, mainly service businesses, investing in staff can have huge effects on growth. More staff, better-trained staff and happier staff can all dramatically increase the level of service you provide and, in turn, increase what you can reasonably charge for that service.

All of the above

For those who don’t want to hang around, get involved in all of these! Just be careful that you are able to monitor which methods are actually working.

How to plan for business expansion

Systems are vital to growth. Businesses are run on systems; as the owner, you design and create the business systems and your team operates by those systems. Examples include stock control procedures, marketing funnel communications, accounts preparation steps etc.

Systems allow a business to run as efficiently as possible, helping to increase profit. Even if your focus isn’t short-term profitability (I’m thinking tech start-ups), getting scalable systems set up from the outset will, without doubt, ease growth.

Whatever your method of expansion, it’s always good to have a plan in place. Both an operational plan, taking into account the physical steps you will go through, and also a financial plan. Having a financial forecast in place will help you to visualise where you are going and why you are putting in the hard graft now. 

Nearly all growth will initially consume cash and make you less profitable so it is good to have a financial plan in place. This will enable you to check whether you are on target as you progress and/or whether your plan of action needs to change.

Summary

  • Get in the growth mind-set
  • Plan your moves, both operationally and financially
  • Execute the plan and monitor performance regularly

If you would like any help on the financial side of things, or just want to chat through a business idea, please get in touch.