Has it really been a year since you started your business? All things are in place, you are making profit and are considering your first expansion. Though it might seem a bit soon, striving towards constant improvement is an imperative in today’s competitive market. In doing so you are ensuring the future of your business in the best possible way. But before making any groundbreaking decisions, bare in mind several things that have to be taken into account before moving on with investing in new business developments.
The following article will outline some of the most important steps one must take when looking to take their business to a higher level.
Number of employees
The first step towards meeting expectations of your growing number of customers should be hiring new employees. If the volume of your business has increased beyond the possibilities of your business size, hiring new people should help alleviate the strain from your workers.
Depending on the size of your business, hiring more workers can have both positive and negative effect on the company. If you are adding 200th person to your team and it turns out it is not the right one – no fuss. Nevertheless, if a person in question is a 5th addition to your team of 4 and it is not the right person – it can lead to a complete disaster.
What you need from your new team member is not skill as much as quality personal traits. Unlike skills, devotion, teamwork, enthusiasm and motivation (all characteristics of an ideal employee) cannot be taught.
With the bigger number of employees comes the need for office improvements as well. From the size of the office to equipment upgrades and additions, it all has to be done. In case you haven’t got space to expand the office at your current location, relocation is imminent. Now, if we think about the particular example from the very beginning of this article, the chances are this is not the last expansion for your business. In that case, it is advisable to keep in mind the possibilities for future growth and thus occupy a bigger space for the new office.
Equipment-wise, depending on the type of your business you will need new tools for your new employees. Nowadays, when talking about upgrading office equipment, we are more often than not thinking of computers. When buying new computers you should think about future-proofing as well. If you buy a PC that will last for generations to come (hardware generations) you are bound to save money in the long run.
Also, whether you are expanding an existing office or moving to a new one, the infrastructural part is very important . However, bare in mind that with any kind of expansion you are at risk of bringing your business at a halt. With internet sales and internet affected sales increasing by year, constant and quality internet connection is paramount. Take an internet speed test to determine whether your current connection meets the requirements of your business. Depending on the exact type of business and the number of employees, the speed of your internet should be anywhere from 2 – 5 Mbps per employee. Currently the best solution is fiber optic internet as it gives the best ratio between download and upload speeds. Since the fiber optic is not as widespread as cable or DSL, you have to double check your options and possibilities.
Sometimes instead of bringing new members into your office, you can choose to outsource some of your workload as a part of the expansion. What is great about outsourcing is that you can get a job well done at a much lower price than the one you would be paying to your in-house team or a local partner. For example, if you are in need of a new website, standard web design agencies charge anywhere between $7K and $40K USD. But if you were to opt for outsourcing, those prices could be halved. One thing you have to remember though is that you find a partner that is reliable, has a long track of successful cooperations with reputable or at least known companies and is easily accessible. In case you choose an outsourcing business model, communication is your number one priority. For this reason, you need to look for signs of bad English in your opening communication with the person on the other side of the line.
Each of the things accounted for in this article should be taken as an integral part of any plan for business growth. Have in mind that in the end the type of the business you run, the number of employees, as well as the type of your clients will determine the conditions of your business’ progress and development. If you misplace your focus, it could cost you more than you have gained by expanding.