Most successful entrepreneurs reach a point at which they need to consider expanding their business. This could mean taking on extra staff, updating equipment, bringing in new technology, or moving to larger premises.
However, there is always a balance to be struck between keeping a tight rein on finances and making the necessary investment to move your business to the next level. It can be tempting to put the decision off for as long as possible, but here are six tell-tale signs that expansion should be on the cards now:
1. Your Business Can’t Fulfil Customers’ Orders On Times
A major sign of the need for expansion is the inability to fulfil orders on time – particularly where these were previously easily deliverable. This can be an indicator that there is general pressure within your business’ processes, rather than issues with an individual order.
If these problems continue, both your business reputation and growth can be compromised. It could also mean competitors will take advantage, picking up orders that your business has turned away.
2. You and Your Staff Feel Swamped
You and your employees are working 10 to 12 hours a day just to stand still. You’re feeling pressured every time the phone rings. Workers are telling managers that their workload is problematic. If you do nothing in this situation, you risk losing employees and suffering from burnout yourself. Official statistics show the number of cases related to stress, depression, or anxiety in the workplace totalled 440,000 in 2014/15.
3. Cash Flow Is Suffering Because Payments Aren’t Being Chased
Managers are so busy delivering on the order book that they don’t have time to keep on top of chasing unpaid invoices. You may well notice that cash flow is suffering as a result. Half of start-up businesses fail within five years and cash flow issues are the biggest reason.
4. The Marketplace Is Changing
The introduction of new regulations, disruption from technological changes and changing market forces can all put an extra burden on you and your staff. As such, it may be necessary to take on a new employee in order to deal with various changes to the marketplace in which you operate.
5. Your Business’ Reputation Is Suffering
Three out of four customers say they spend more money when they get a good customer experience. So ensuring that you are able to meet – or exceed – client expectations can pay dividends in the long run.
The alarm bells should start ringing if you notice negative comments on social media or an increase in the number of complaints. If your business is losing customers, you need to act swiftly to prevent a downward spiral.
6. Your Business Feels Crammed into an Untidy Space
If you’re operating between piles of stock and paperwork, it’s time to take a look at bigger premises. If you’re operating from home, maybe you need to look at office space instead? If you have recently taken on more employees, does your current premises have the required welfare facilities to meet health and safety legislation? These are all considerations that need to be made before making the decision to move your business.
So, What Can You Do as Your Businesses Expands?
There are several steps which can be taken to aid with the process of expansion. Outsourcing a number of roles is an excellent method for relieving the burden on overworked employees. Typical areas businesses look for help with are accountancy, marketing, social media, and administration. Alternatively, you could train staff to perform multiple functions to ensure that workload is spread more evenly.
Could you expand into an adjacent unit or a larger unit on the same site? Getting larger premises is more straightforward if a business is dealing with the same landlord – and you don’t need to provide a new address to customers. Shared office space which can be hired by the day is a great option for start-up owners who have been operating from home.
How Can Simply-Docs Help?
Simply-Docs provides ready-to-use documents and legal contracts ideal for businesses, including employment and health & safety documents. To talk more about how we can help your business manage a change of premises, simply contact our friendly team today.