10 Signs your business is ready to level up
Abigail’s* long-time passion for baking gave way to a lucrative pastry business that she started five years ago. Just like any other entrepreneur, she yearns to eventually bring her business to the next level.
She loves taking risks, she is bursting with incredible ideas, she is full of energy, she is willing to delegate, and she has that unshakeable belief in her entrepreneurial skills, and more importantly, in her products. She knows that she is ready to expand her business!
Caution, however, has this annoying habit of making its presence known when one least expects it.
An increasingly persistent inner voice keeps telling Abigail that expanding too quickly may lead to growing pains, and adversely affect the operations of her business. All the money, time, and effort that she has invested may be sacrificed because of a single misstep. So she needs to think and rethink her plan with careful consideration.
To help Abigail, and all the other entrepreneurs out there, here are some indicators to look for before taking that big business leap.
1. Your business is on a roll.
As opposed to a temporary spike in profits, cash flow should be steadily coming in for at least three years to warrant a business expansion. This steady profitability is a clear indication that your formula works and is likely to work elsewhere.
2. You have a reliable base of repeat customers.
Your patrons keep on coming back for your products and, because of the power of word of mouth and of effective marketing and advertising strategies, your business continues to develop multiple and new client bases.
3. You have the right team in your corner.
One of the most crucial deciding factors when contemplating a business expansion is the readiness of your existing employees. Your staff should have the necessary skills, talents, and abilities to support, and even accelerate, your growth. Their vision should be aligned with your objective of expanding your business. You need an amazing team of passionate, dedicated, and reliable employees that is willing to be by your side for the long haul.
4. Your business belongs to a thriving industry, or the market you cater to is continuously growing.
You don’t expect a need for expansion if you are in a declining industry such as DVD, game, and video rental, record selling, or photo printing. However, if you are in an industry that is holding or gaining consumer interest or if you cater to a robust market like the millennial fashionistas, K-POP fans, or constantly-on-the-go young professionals, the odds of a successful business expansion are in your favor.
5. You are at the receiving end of insistent demands to expand.
When your customers are asking for additional products on a regular basis, or when you receive repeated calls begging for a branch in their cities, or when you get dozens of glowing reviews online, it is high time to seriously consider expanding your business.
6. You have more business than you can handle.
You know that you need to expand when your team is already working long hours yet the demand is still exceeding your capacity, or when you are starting to turn customers away, or when it takes time to return the calls of prospective clients.
7. Your employees are claiming that they need space.
Literally. You cannot expect to provide quality service to your customers and clients nor can you conduct yourself professionally if your shop or office is too cramped, if your employees are inadvertently stepping on each others’ toes each time they move, or if your patrons find themselves sitting cheek by jowl with each other.
8. You have established systems in place.
Any change in your day-to-day operations due to an expansion normally entails hard work, long hours, and a confusing adjustment period. You can make the transition as smooth and as easy as possible by putting in place some tried-and-tested systems that would enable the business to run without requiring your constant presence.
9. You have successfully done your research.
Before taking that huge expansion leap, make sure that you have done your homework. You need to recognize that what works with your current business, with your current products in your current location would not necessarily work if one or more of the variables are changed. So whether you’re adding employees, materials, or equipment, getting a bigger office space, increasing production, opening more branches, offering new services, extending product lines, or expanding into a completely new market, you have to thoroughly study all the facets of your planned venture.
10. You have explored all your business expansion loan options.
Expansion costs money, and if you can’t afford to rely solely on self-financing, you need to scrutinize your other options. This is where BDO SME Loan can help you.
Whether you want to expand your business or purchase a property for a bigger store or office space, BDO SME Loan offers financing options with your specific business need in mind.
Apply now and enjoy flexible terms, as well as expert loan advice and accessible service in any of the over 1,100 BDO branches nationwide.
For your convenience, you may also apply for a BDO SME Loan online.
To know more about BDO SME Loan, click here.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
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