Small businesses have a major impact on the global economy. As the predominant business presence in the market, and the main driver of innovation and growth, every single company out there that starts out as a small idea actually dreams big. Naturally, every small business, whether it’s made up of two people or tens of employees scattered across the globe, aims to grow over time. This growth, however, can either be streamlined and scaled properly, or it can completely destroy the business from which it stems. The market is already competitive enough and your clients have many options alternative to what you’re offering, so every step in your execution counts.
To make sure that you meander successfully through the murky waters of small business expansion, we’ve compiled a list of several key issues most companies encounter. They may seem inevitable, some irreversible, but with the right mindset and the right strategy in hand, you can transform your small business into a major influence over time.
Haphazard hiring choices
On one hand, you have your trusty team of original employees who have been by your side since day one. Their understanding of your brand and their emotional investment are something you cannot artificially produce in your new hires. Then again, their skillset may not be enough to cover your expansion needs, and therein lies the rub and the conflict. Some small businesses will simply bring more clients to their doors without considering the implications on their resources. Others might start hiring experts without checking if their client list growth actually calls for such actions.
In both situations, you lose. You both need to cherish the loyalty of your original team, but you also need to be able to diversify your workforce and bring fresh eyes to the table. Before you choose your best hiring route forward, create a scaling strategy that will meet your needs and enable you to work with the talent your business can benefit from in the long run.
Lack of cash flow control
Many businesses consider their contracts to be the reflection of their monetary value. However, their true financial status is not calculated by those retainers, but by the actual cash flow that serves as your business blood flow and its pulse. No cash flow even with ten clients standing by with their payments means no business. Before you can start your expansion, you should master the art of cash flow management so as to enter those expansion waters safely.
One method of keeping your cash flow in check includes invoice factoring, and you can learn about it here, as well as the finest methods to apply this process to your own business. It’s one of the most viable strategies for cash flow management that enable you to protect your client relationships, ensure regular payments, and enable business growth without setbacks in the form of money troubles.
Mismanaging brand consistency
Business expansion is not limited to hiring more people to join your teams or getting the right financing solutions for your cash flow issues. On the contrary, it’s an intricate network of processes that can either build up or harm your current reputation. One such factor is brand consistency, which frequently gets neglected during this transitional period, or left out of the equation entirely.
To prevent poor brand presentation on new platforms, by new employees, and in general, you need to weave your brand messaging throughout the entire process. Every step of the entire endeavor should be under your control, and you need to weave your brand into every single channel you start using. That means creating a training program for new employees to learn about your brand, crafting the right social media strategy to prepare your audience, and the like.
Lack of budget for the expansion
Of course, one of the most common troubles your brand can encounter when embarking on the growth journey is that of funding nature. Expansions take money, and if you haven’t calculated your step-by-step strategy to expand, you cannot anticipate your expenses, or create a safety net in the form of an emergency fund. While you may see the need to expand to cover the needs of your clients and you see interest for signing up more clients soon enough, do you have the budget to hire people right away?
Can you cover the costs of renting a larger office space, purchasing the high-quality equipment they need to do their jobs properly, and to fund the marketing campaigns that come with the expansion? Start talking to investors when you have a plan and a forecast ready. That way, you can gather the money your business needs to expand, and you’ll be able to cover those necessary expenses without going under.
Although money seems to be the greatest possible source of troubles to manage an expansion of your business, take into account other, less prominent possibilities, including that of branding and consistency. Expansion chances don’t come very often, so make sure you use yours wisely, and prepare your business for all the possible setbacks you might come across on your journey, and you’ll increase your chances of success.