Small business owners dream of the day when consumer demand exceeds their ability to supply. When business is great and your customer base is growing, expansion is likely on your mind.
Growth comes with both risks and rewards. This is especially true if you’re seeking a loan or business credit line to fund your expansion efforts. Borrowing more than you need can make it a challenge to pay it off. On the other hand, if you underestimate your needs, you’ll limit your expansion opportunities.
Signs that your business is ready for the next step don’t stop at cash flow and distribution demands. Helping your business reach its full potential requires careful planning and research. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about growth.
Establish Your Processes and Systems
When small businesses first start out, owners tend to make it up as they go along. However, the “flying by the seat of your pants” mentality doesn’t work when it comes to scaling your business.
Having defined processes and systems in place is necessary for growth. If you find yourself completing repeated tasks, consider finalizing a documented process. Write out what needs to happen to execute the task, taking it step-by-step. This allows your employees to get things done without coming to you for assistance.
Areas needing established processes could include:
-Staff hiring and training
-Billing and accounting management
-Finances and sales tracking
-Data collection on expenses, logistics, and other key metrics
Examine areas of inefficiency in your current processes. For example, recurring communication gaps, missing key data, and a lack of software solutions will slow you down. Invest in the tools and processes that will help your business grow.
Know How Much Funding You Need
It’s no secret that you need access to funding in order to grow your business. Hiring additional staff, expanding your office space, increasing your product line, and adding new technology or equipment will all impact your monthly overhead. You have two funding options: a business loan or a line of credit.
A business loan is a good fit for long-term investments, like covering the expenses that come with moving to a new location. You’ll get the funds in a lump sum that’s paid off over time.
On the other hand, a line of credit is ideal for short-term and day-to-day business needs. Since it’s a revolving line of credit, you can access the funds again as soon as you’ve paid off your balance.
Create a Growth Plan
A growth strategy is the blueprint for your business’s success. Without a plan, your expansion efforts could stall out before you reap the benefits of your hard work.
Access to funding gives you the capital to grow, but without customers, you won’t have a business. New products, services, staff, and technology are great investments, but don’t forget about your customers. What are their needs? Establish a plan for how you’ll retain and grow your customer base for years to come.
When building your growth plan, consider and include strategy relating to:
-Developing and scaling new products or services
-Current and future staffing needs
-Financial management and sustaining profitability
-Expanding to new locations
Work with the Right Financial Services Partner
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, a financial services partner like ValueOne can make all the difference. We offer a level of responsive customer support and personalized attention that small business owners demand. At ValueOne, we put in the time and research to match you with the funds you need to grow for years to come.