1. Consider Going Deeper, Not Wider
Instead of thinking expanding means something new or the “next best thing,” I advise smallbusiness owners to consider how they can serve their current model better. Send out a survey to clients/customers (with an incentive to complete like a giveaway) asking them questions about what they love about your biz, what they want more of, what their needs are, etc. Often, businessgrowth is about going deeper, not wider. – Christine Hassler, Christine Hassler, Inc
2. Develop More Clarity
The more clarity you develop the less time you will waste. Having clarity allows you to focus all of your energy toward a specific purpose and guard against everything that doesn’t contribute toward it. Start by identifying your expansion goals. What it will truly take to get you there? Time? Resources? Capacities? Plan for everything you can think of and then just stay focused. – Rey Castellanos, Feed Your Wolf
3. Review Our What Your Business Can Support
Before you make any moves to expand, it’s crucial to review whether your business can support the desired expansion. Review growth capacity across your people (especially if it’s currently just you), your processes and your technology platforms. Can they all support the expansion you’re looking for? A strategic review of these capabilities will highlight any current weaknesses in your business. – Lea Woodward, Virtual COO
4. Define Your Ideal Business
When a business owner comes to me, I set out to help them build their ideal business — one that provides the income and lifestyle they want and has the impact they seek. I begin by asking, “What does success look like to you?” They often mistake bigger for better and build a business that employs more people or generates more revenue, but it doesn’t really help them achieve their version of success. – Pat Rigsby, PatRigsby.com
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5. Expand Your Relationships
Talk. You should be so excited about what you are doing that your enthusiasm is contagious. Talk about it, share your excitement and, most importantly, your goals for the business. You will be surprised what people will suggest and offer to do to support you. People do business with people they like — so nurture and expand your relationships. – Michelle Tillis Lederman, Executive Essentials
6. Know How Much More Profit You Want to Make
As a strategist, I recommend knowing your numbers by calculating how much more profit you want to make. Create a spreadsheet and run the numbers to see if the profit is even there. Oftentimes, people expand but their costs continue to stay the same and the workload goes up. Do the due diligence to make sure you can decrease your cost of goods sold and increase your sales to hit your profit goals. –Terra Bohlmann, BrightBound
7. Answer These Questions
Before expanding your small business, it’s good to take note of a few key pieces that will influence your success by answering the following questions:
- What is your reason for expansion?
- What opportunities and challenges exist in your industry?
- What is your goal for expansion?
- What is your expansion strategy?
- How will the expansion be measured?
- What resources are available or needed for expansion?
8. Make a Plan and Stick to It
Creating a plan with vision in mind is great, but sticking to it is the hardest part. Expanding abusiness venture requires additional time, energy and definitely money. Consider the factors needed to make it happen. I tell small business owners that creating their plan and following it with the right mindset is the most helpful way to run their race and cross the finish line to success. – Wendi Weiner, JD, NCRW, CPRW, CCTC, CCM, The Writing Guru
9. Have a Gameplan But Allow for Flexibility
Small business owners often jump into ventures with great strategic plans while also wearing blinders. They fail to see that great doors are opening that would allow for significant growth — but because those opportunities are not part of the original plan, they are ignored. Not every door will be constructive, but do take a peek; a few just might be a springboard for unforeseen success. – Emily Kapit, MS, MRW, ACRW, CPRW, ReFresh Your Step, LLC
10. Know Yourself
There’s only one of you and only so many hours in a day. Can you train others to do what you do and will you feel comfortable giving up that control? Can you automate certain processes or create turnkey solutions to replace what you deliver to each client individually? Do you have the finances to put the necessary team and resources in place? Do you enjoy being a manager? Know yourself first. –Barbara Safani, Career Solvers