Are you finally pushing profit margins into the green? Great! But don’t jump on the expansion wagon just yet…
Take a breather, reassess and make sure that your business ticks the boxes (or at least most of them) that signal you are ready for growth. Start with the most important asset you have- your team. Is your team the best it can be? Are you nurturing a team of dedicated, long-term team members who are invested in seeing the business flourish?
If you can answer yes, you are on the right track. Think of this as the base of the pyramid of growth- your team must be solid before you stack on another layer! A great indicator that you are ready for expansion is when you feel the tide of customers turn from “seeking” to “sought”, meaning that you no longer seek their business but your business is sought after.
Essentially once you start to build up a loyal customer base and referrals start flowing in, you can pump the brakes slightly on your hard-nosed marketing efforts and allow for additional resources and time to be invested into growth. As important as the above- do you have a plan? If you want to build on your base of a great team, and the support of a loyal client base, show them respect by creating a fluid, detailed plan for growth.
Much like when you launched, a growth plan is the framework you will use to measure success along the way and will act as a system of checks and balances, encouraging accountability. Speaking of plans, take a look at your original business plan. Are you on track? Checking off accomplishments and achieving goals is a good indicator that you are ready for growth.
Check the piggy bank- is there a steady flow of cash in hand? Bills paid off, credit leveled off and no big investments coming up? Then you can check this box off as a go! Lastly, look to your industry. Is there room in your market to grow, or a niche that needs to be filled? Make sure you time your growth to trends so that you aren’t behind the rest of your competition.