For many, the beginning of the year is a time to assess where your business started and how far you’ve come. Is it time to kick it up a notch? Or in other words, is it time to grow your business? How do you know for sure?
Intuit’s blog suggests that your instincts often tell you to hire that next employee or add another location. And yet you can still hesitate, fearing the risks. But there are signs that can help you know when it's time to grow your business. For example:
- You’ve tapped an untapped market.
- You’re inundated with leads but with very little effort.
- You’ve got way more business than you can handle.
- Your quality (especially if you’re a service provider) is in danger of slipping.
While building a company, it’s not that unusual to stumble upon unmet needs. Customers may start asking for related products or services, or maybe there’s a light bulb moment that shouts opportunity! Have unanticipated customer segments found your website and are they creating big demand? One or more of these events can happen quickly, but more often they sneak up on you gradually. Then one day you realize you’ve got to make the deliberate decision to grow your business. It’s a good “problem” to have!
Needing to grow your business can also be in the sense of physical expansion. There are signs for this, too. If your inventory is limited by your space, if you’ve got employees doubling up on office space, or if you’re tripping over boxes in the hallway, it’s time to look at expanding your space. These can be gradual, too, so it pays to be prepared.
And that’s the advice from business experts: Look before you leap. Think ahead. Anticipate. And when you make the decision, be methodical in your approach, gathering intel and making a plan, much as you have for your business overall. When you do decide to move forward, make sure it is the right time for you and for the business. Taking steps to grow or expand will almost always involve putting in extra hours, hiring new people and/or undergoing a certain amount of upheaval to your operations as you incorporate a new location, new products or new procedures.
The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report has also tackled the question of knowing when and offers some insights from real people who’ve been through it. One is Todd Graves, founder and CEO of Raising Cane’s, one of the fastest growing restaurant companies in the country. Among Graves’ insights for recognizing that expansion may be in your future:
- You have a clear vision for growth, which is articulated in a comprehensive plan.
- You have the manpower and resources to continue your current success and proceed with expansion at the same time.
- You have access to the necessary capital.
Capital is a critical part of the growth/expansion equation. At Business Financial Services, we know this first-hand, because it’s the number one reason we provide financing to businesses: Taking on additional inventory, expanding space, even adding a new location. In fact, we work with our customers to focus not only on the current health of their businesses and cash flow, but also on the outcomes after receiving an infusion of capital.
For us, a business loan should help move your business forward: Will getting capital from BFS leave your business better off than it was before? That’s the bottom line for business expansion and growth.
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