Expanding Your Business: Key Considerations
Hopefully you will get to a point in your businesses life where you are ready for the next step and want to expand.
There are many things to consider with this, not least of all the financial implications of such a move. You have to judge the cost of the venture – including the new premises, the design aspects, the new employees, and a whole host of other things. But the first thing you have to decide on is the type of expansion you need.
Expanding your office can be the first step in getting your enterprise out of your home or moving to your own premises. Moving your office is a big step, and a fun one. It’s proof of your business’ growth. At first, you might move to a shared space, where multiple companies rent rooms or areas within the same building – a great option when starting out – or you could rent a smaller office space, often found along high streets.
However, if you think it might be time for you to move to a larger premises you still, you might look at a small building, a floor of a skyscraper, or the entire complex. The choice to make here is whether you are going to buy or rent. Renting is the better option if you are working towards the next expansion, and know that the space won’t be big enough in the future. Owning is a good idea if, when you expand, you can expand the building too.
Or, you might be in a position where you can build your own office space. In this instance, you need to think about location more than you otherwise would. You also need to consider the aesthetic of your building – will it match the surroundings, or will it be considered an eyesore and be hard to sell on when the time comes.
Perhaps you need to consider expanding the storage aspect of your company. Whether it’s produce, vehicles, or supplies, as your business grows so will your need for storing things. There are two main ways in which you can do this.
The more common is to rent or buy a warehouse. This works well as a permanent structure, you can use it for multiple things at once, and they can vary in size. The down fall is the cost of acquiring the building in the first place, and the cost of any work or improvements you may need to make. Unless you are building a warehouse, the existing building will have been purposed for a company before you and so will need some work.
Alternatively, you can go for a less permanent option like a metal building. These structures allow you to build a storage unit quickly and to good cost, and to be able to extend the building in the future if you so need. You can also relocate the building if you were to relocate the business. Metal buildings might not seem as secure as a bricks and mortar warehouse, but larger versions are used in aircraft hangars for helicopters.
Expanding your employee base comes with its own trials. Not only do you need the space and equipment for them, but also you have to judge the cost of hiring. If you have no choice but to hire someone, then just do it. And if you have the luxury of head hunting, then make sure you are getting the right person for the job.
Expanding your employee base by one or two people can be easier to accommodate, but you need to make sure that they fit in with your existing staff. They need to be able to integrate themselves into a small group of people who are used to working closely with each other.
When adding an entirely new department it is still important that they possess these abilities too, but you do have more flexibility, as the new employees will be working with each other more than the other departments.
This is probably the most costly form of expansion, as each store needs to be re-fitted and designed to fit in with the company brand, and the other stores. It will also require stock, new staff and an extra lot of advertising.
Most larger companies open a handful of stores at the same time as it is cheaper to hire contractors for multiple jobs than a singular one. Thing of it as buying in bulk – it works out as more cost effective in the end.