We generally think that growth is good – but it may bring with it the need to hire more staff, find bigger premises and upgrade your machinery. But these are all risky investments – so how do you know when the time is right?
I can’t make that decision for you – that’s your job as the boss – but here are five reliable indicators you might want to consider.
1. There’s a rising need for your product
The demand for your products or services is so great that you won’t be able to meet them unless you expand. But do make sure it’s real – not just a blip.
2. Problems with meeting your schedule
You’re finding it harder and harder to meet your schedule. Production may be struggling, but you’re also finding it increasingly difficult to give clients the personal attention they need from you
3. A positive cash flow
Make sure you have the cash to fund the growth. If your growth has come at the expense of cash flow, because you’ve cut your prices to gain market share, it might be very dangerous to expand. I suggest you prove that you can retain those customers, THEN expand.
4. Your workplace is getting overcrowded
If your staff are complaining about the cramped office and you never seem to have enough warehouse space – take a step back and see if you can improve your efficiency first. Then start planning that expansion!
5. You have a staff that you can rely on
This is slightly different – DON’T expand unless you have staff you can rely on! And they can still deliver even when you’re not there.
So there you are – growing your small business may seem like a logical next step, but it is far from risk-free. If it feels right to you and these five signs are there – then maybe the time really is right! Good luck!