The aim of most businesses is to increase profits, and sometimes expansion is the best way to achieve this. This guide will show you how to:
If the pace of change is too slow, your business may stagnate; if it’s too fast, you run the risk of making it vulnerable in a competitive marketplace.
To ensure that your business is ready for expansion, you need to plan your growth strategy carefully.
For your business to flourish, there must be sufficient demand for the products or services you offer.
Before committing to expansion, research the marketplace thoroughly and, in particular, any emerging trends and technologies that may indicate a decline in your sector.
You should also talk to your customers. Ask them:
This dynamic document outlines your vision for the future of your business, looking at where you are now, where you want to be by a given date and how you intend to get there.
A good business plan will:
Read our guide: Writing your business plan
As your business becomes more successful, it’s likely that you’ll need more staff, facilities and equipment to cope with demand. You can increase the size of business premises in one of three ways:
In each case, you will need to consider the impact on staff, customers and suppliers.
You should also be careful not to overstretch your finances. Your premises need to allow for future growth, but you don’t want to pay for space you won’t use.
Property may be purchased freehold and leasehold. If there is an option you will have to decide which is best for you.
Leasing may offer flexibility and the ability to update more frequently, but this could increase the overall cost.
Read our guide: Taking on new business premises: sorting the legal issues
If you plan to expand into new premises, make sure you choose a location that allows you to optimise as many aspects of your business as possible.
Ensure that the premises have the necessary planning consents, and consider the following:
Read our guide: Finding the right business property
You can increase your output by improving overall efficiency and productivity, but real growth usually requires investment in the physical assets you need to produce your goods or services.
To ensure you don’t underestimate or overestimate your requirements:
If demand for your product or services is seasonal or irregular, track the peaks and troughs over a period of time to identify any patterns. This will allow you to take advantage of opportunities when you are under capacity, or to take on extra resource for busy periods.
While your business is small, you can retain complete control and a hands-on style of management. As numbers grow, your relationship with your staff will change.
There are three key areas you should focus on:
To maintain growth you will need to gain more business from existing clients and/or attract new customers.
A targeted marketing plan, based on market research and knowledge of your existing customers, will help raise your profile and generate income.
To determine your strategy, ask the following questions:
In the early stages of expansion, you may require additional expertise in your business. Rather than take on full-time staff to cater for this requirement, it may make practical and financial sense to outsource.
Outsourcing eases pressures internally and allows you and your staff to focus on the primary objectives. Aspects of business which often lend themselves well to third-party management include:
Outsourcing inevitably involves losing a degree of control, so establish procedures that allow you to monitor performance as closely as possible:
On a regular basis, you should also:
This How to Grow Your Business article published in association with Lloyds TSB.
Whether you are looking to start-up a business account or want to move your existing business account Lloyds TSB can offer you all the Business Banking support you need
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