At a certain point in one’s business ownership, it is inevitable that you will consider whether or not business expansion is right for you. As a business advisor and leader, I see business owners contemplate this decision often, and it is not one that should be taken lightly.
There are a number of questions you must ask yourself before deciding to move ahead with growing your company, and these questions require not only thought, but research and analysis of your current positioning. I’ve detailed three important questions below to get you started on your decision-making process.
1. What type of expansion is right for you?
Are you looking for internal growth, or have you considered acquiring another business? Be mindful of the fact that what will work for one company may not work for you. Though looking to other cases for reference is important, know that your business is unique and therefore your expansion plan must be custom suited to your needs. It is easiest to rule out the expansion options that are simply not plausible, whether it be in terms of time, money, or interest to pursue, and then to go from there!
2. Will your business benefit?
Business expansion naturally means increased risk. It is important to project what expansion will do for your business financially. If there are cost advantages associated with the growth, how long will they take to be realized?
Your customer base is also a crucial factor of consideration. Will your loyal customers stick with the business through the change, and even more importantly, will new customers be there once you’ve expanded?
3. Can you afford the change?
Depending on how you want to expand your business, ensuring it is financially feasible may not be an easy task. Business loans, while available, are not always easy to secure. If your expansion does not see the success you had anticipated, you are left indebted to lenders and your livelihood is at risk. Analyze all your financing options and be sure to understand the risks associated with each one.
These questions are just the beginning when it comes to the decision-making process involved with business expansion. Have you undergone an expansion? We’d like to hear of other considerations you had to make before your decision. Please share in the comments!
Many will argue that it is the people within an organization who are responsible for the success of the business. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, your employees are responsible for communicating the values of your brand and making your current and potential clients feel appreciated, serviced, and listened to. Knowing that employees are your greatest asset, how do you attract the best talent for your business?
Be specific in your job description: Whether you are creating a new position or filling an existing position, you’ll want to look at your job description and decide if it aligns well with the reality of the role and would appeal to the kind of person you are looking for. You can communicate this by including job requirements and qualifications as well as the experience and skills a candidate can expect to gain from the position.
Have an idea of the training that is required: When you are cognizant of and fully understand the training that will be required to acclimate a new employee, you will have a better sense of the experience and skills you are looking for in your candidate. Who would make the smoothest transition? Who already has many of the skills you intend to teach?
Use your network: The perfect person for your business could be hiding in your personal or virtual networks! When you are looking for candidates for a position, reach out to trusted peers and ask if they have anyone in mind. The better you know a candidate, the more confident you can feel about your decision.
The right incentive: The right person for your business won’t be solely interested in financial incentives. Make sure you give a candidate more than one reason to work for your company. You can accomplish this by communicating flexibility, vacation time, benefits, company culture, and skills that can be gained from the role.
What to look for in the interview: Design your interview questions to uncover values, attitude, and underlying motivations as well as experience and skills. This could mean asking questions about hobbies, career goals or how a person spends their free time. Getting a three-dimensional view of your candidate will help you make a confident decision about who to bring into your organization.
Time and circumstance permitted, you won’t want to rush the process of finding the best talent for your organization. Hopefully, with the help of these tips, you’ll be able to attract and choose from a targeted talent pool.
Where have you found the best talent for your business? Do you hire from within your networks? What job forums do you use? I look forward to your thoughts below.