A business is an exciting yet challenging endeavor that requires attention to detail and strategic planning. That said, when you expand your business is just as important as how you expand. Learn what seven business owners have to say about business expansion, how they timed their expansion, and what signs you should look for to determine if you’re ready to grow.
1. Customers are coming to you.
When expanding a business, it is important to provide what there is already a demand for! As an owner of a historic hotel in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains, I had a variety of brides reaching out and booking my hotel for their weddings. Once I saw a serious demand for our location, I decided to build Forest Lodge—a brand new wedding and event venue next to our hotel. This space gives us the opportunity to host more couples and even larger corporate events, and we are so happy to have taken our business to the next level. —Gwen North, Lake Rabun Hotel
2. You’re getting too comfortable.
Complacency can be dangerous to your business if you are not careful. Your business should always be progressing and improving. If you are getting too comfortable with the way things are going, it might be time to expand your business. Challenging yourself and your company to expand and grow when it’s the hard thing to do will only make your company that much stronger. —Ryan Nouis, TruPath
3. You feel out of touch.
This year, we looked to expand our business by redoing our entire site, complete with new logos and brand colors. We did this because we felt like we needed to reconnect with our brand. Texas Adoption Center is a powerful brand that stands for so much good. We are a fresh and modern adoption agency, so we wanted our site to reflect this. Whenever you feel out of touch with what your company is all about, it is time to refocus and look to expand. —Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center
4. You’re noticing updates in industry news.
Be in tune with what is going on in your industry and market. In-home building, we watch sales and permit activity, inventory levels, price increases/decreases, size and type of homes that are selling in individual markets, in-migration levels, local business environment, etc. We have expanded our business when these and other factors indicate the timing is good. Do more buyers want readily available homes? We do a mix of build-to-suit and for-sale model homes, for example, and are always evaluating the right combination and where to expand our efforts.—Rod Cullum, Cullum Homes
5. You know there will be demand.
Expanding your business is one of the most exciting aspects of entrepreneurship. Many of our clients come to us to finance equipment when they open another location or move into a new vertical, so you could say expansion is our bread and butter. I think expanding your operations is a good idea when you are certain there is a demand for your services in a new geographic area and you have a team willing to relocate to set up your operations. —Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital
6. Your business expanded to underserved markets.
We recently decided to open up a new clinic because we saw an opportunity to serve an underserved area. When you have something that works in multiple locations, expansion to underserved markets with the same or similar blueprint is a good idea. One sign to pay attention to is “distance customers travel” for your services. If a group of customers is traveling from a longer distance, perhaps that may be a sign to bring services closer to a core group of customers. —Dan Reck, MATClinics
7. You’ve examined your finances.
When considering whether to expand your business, your financial statements are an invaluable tool. Review current cash flows, projected revenues, and more to see if there is wiggle room to grow. For example, if you have a solid amount of cash sitting in your business checking account, why not leverage it to expand service offerings, bring on new team members, or invest in a new location?
While having savings is essential, you need to make your money work for you. By making strategic money moves, you can expand your operations, delight investors, and avoid stretching the budget too thin. —Claire Routh, Markitors
This article was written by Brett Farmiloe and originally appeared on Score.