As a successful entrepreneur, you know that just wanting to own a business is a far cry from being able to run one effectively. In the words of Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Taking your business to the next stage in its development is not much different—or much easier—than launching it. Use the following checklist to determine if you’re ready to take that step.
1. You have a strong team
Without a strong management team and passionate, reliable employees, a great concept and high sales don’t necessarily spell success.
Expansion puts a lot of stress on your business and will require that you give up more and more direct control.Consider who’s moving forward with you and who you can’t move forward without.
2.You have a loyal customer base
A strong base of repeat customers is a good sign. It indicates an ongoing demand for your products or services, as well as satisfaction with the quality of what you do or sell.
3.Your industry and/or market is growing.
You can run the best shoe repair shop on the planet, but this is an industry that’s definitely disappearing. If your industry is expanding, however, your business likely can, too.
Similarly, if you’re catering to a growing market (such as Hispanic teenagers), your odds of successful business expansion are better.
4.Your plans are proven
If you can attribute your current success in part to setting up goals and achieving them systematically, you may be ready to take on the complex task of expanding.
While planning for expansion, you should of course be making sure your industry or market’s growth is favorable, and that you have a detailed marketing and sales plan for the new market you’ll be dealing with.
5.You have more business than you can handle.
Are you turning away customers or too busy to contact sales leads in a timely fashion? Are you and your employees working what seem like 24-hour days?
Assuming that this isn’t the result of poor time management, but of high demand, this is a major sign there is room for business expansion.