People get into business with one goal in mind. That is to take their efforts to greater heights. No self-respecting entrepreneur will say that they have no plans for business expansion. If that is the case, then their heart is probably in the wrong place, and they are better off doing something else with their time.
As admirable as it is as a business goal, it is worth noting that expansion cannot happen overnight. It is a process that takes time and considerable investment both in terms of money and labor. It is also vital that a growth strategist oversees the whole procedure. Otherwise, it will be haphazardly done, and that can only be counterproductive.
Entrepreneurs should be wary of committing the most common errors when it comes to expanding a business. Here are some of them.
Lack of a plan
Entrepreneurs are ideally partial to planning. A person that is averse to spending time at the drawing board might not be suited to running a business. Planning is crucial when you start a business. It is just as imperative once you have set your eyes on expansion.
There are many things to take into account. The top consideration is whether your business is ready for the growth you envision. That covers financial readiness and system readiness. If those things are so far insufficient, how might they be mitigated? There must be an itemized course of action to be taken. Each should serve a specific goal that aligns with the overall vision of expansion.
Wanting to expand because the current state of things has become monotonous and predictable is not a very apt motivation. There are other ways to amuse one’s self without putting all entrepreneurial efforts accomplished throughout the years at risk. Go golfing, for example. Do not treat a business like a hobby. Treat it as a financial commitment.
Another flawed motivation is to make a quick profit. Legit expansion is gradual. If it happens overnight, it is likely an unsustainable hype that might not prove lucrative in the end.
Cutting corners on labor
Business expansion requires not just the CEO or their pool of managers. It requires teams of people all the way down to the custodian keeping the pantry in order. Happy employees work more efficiently. Their performance is vital to the success of any expansion plan.
That said, take care of employees. Fast employee turnover derails business expansion because it requires turning over knowledge and processes. That can be avoided by ensuring each member of the team gets what they deserve.
Skipping market research
Customers are the lifeline of a business. A business that does not understand how its customers behave will have a difficult time catering to their needs. Here market research comes in handy. Not only will market research bring about valuable information about customers, but the process will also provide valuable insights on trends in the market and the state of competition.
Market research allows for business localization too. That is most crucial if the kind of expansion looked at zeroes in on a new location. There the culture will be different. And that culture will affect business. The same rule applies if expansion gears toward tapping a new market. Remember that selling the same product to two different demographics cannot be based upon the same sales paradigm.
Refusing to learn from others
Business people should be proud. After all, they are captains of ships sailing across stormy waters. But pride should not limit them from learning from the best practices already established by those who came before.
Some of these best practices include building partnerships and ensuring a long-term value proposition. The former allows access to pertinent resources from business providers across industries. The latter makes way for inspiring customer trust and loyalty. If those two are achieved, the journey to growth will be less rough.
The last year has been especially challenging for most businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of over 97,000 businesses. A business that remains thriving in this dire economic climate has become the exception rather than the rule. Now, more than ever, entrepreneurs should approach every business decision with acuity.
That goes without saying that expansion can still factor in existing business models. But since the stakes are higher now, a foolproof plan supported by efficient execution is of the essence. This is not the time to wing it. This is the time to step up the game and see to it that in every move made, no other outcome would be possible other than success.