Growing Your Business Small to Medium and Large - Questions to ask Yourself First

Stepping up from a small business to a medium, or even large, one is a quandary that all businesses will face at some point. Get it wrong and your expansion plans can easily go awry and you could even end up jeopardizing everything you have worked so hard to build.

Timing is, of course, all-important too. If you react too slowly, your business may stagnate. Move too fast and you run the risk of making yourself vulnerable in a competitive marketplace.

To make the process easier, and help you to plan your growth strategy, I have compiled a list of questions that you may like to consider before you make any big moves. Take some time to answer them all honestly and fully before you make any big commitments:

1. Understand your profit centers
Where do you make your most profit and your least?
Can you (easily) obtain more of the product to sell or the service you offer?

2. Look at the trends of your customers
Is the market growing or shrinking? For your business to flourish there must be sufficient demand. Are there any emerging trends or technologies which might indicate a decline or increase in the sector?

3. Is the market big enough for your product or service?
Clearly, for your business to flourish, there needs to be enough demand for the products or services you offer.

4. Put numbers on everything
How much do you want to realistically make? When by?
How many extra staff will it take?
How much extra stock will you need if any?
Will you need to extend your premises, or even move to a completely new building?

5. How much will it all cost and where will you obtain the funding?
Being careful not to over-stretch your finances and with one eye on what you will need to keep pace with the increase in volume, will you get money from any of the following sources:

Banks (hard to do in the current climate)?
Government loan?
Own money?
Private investor?
(Remember to consider what will happen if demand for your products or service is seasonal or irregular. Will your extra cash get you through the peaks and troughs which will occur over a period of time?)

6. How will you market your product or service to grow?
Do you have a marketing and growth plan (keep it simple)
Have you thought about all the distribution channels (online, offline, partners)
Is your website up-to-date (it's the first place most people look)

Keep a lean mean business machine. Do not live in the glory or ego of it all that's just trouble storing up.

Remember "There Is Always A Way" its not always about the cash to do things.

Enjoy, now jump, you can do it :)

Lyndon
(extract from my book Diary of a Fortune Hunter)

Twitter @lyndonx (98% business tweets)

Robert Craven

robert-craven-22343

Growing Your Business Small to Medium and Large - Questions to

A good sound list. RC

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Fred Rutgers

fredrutgers-186363

Growing Your Business Small to Medium and Large - Questions to

Lyndon, I'd like to add one important subject. Will expanding your company make you happy? If you grow your company, your role and span of control will change also. You will have to rely on other people to service your customers on your behalf. Instead of talking to customers and selling yourself you my endup managing sales, managing customer service, managing staff etc. Will this change of role make you happy or had you rather... In the past ( my last company) I grew too big! I ended up sitting behind a desk doing nothing but having meetings! In future I want to get my hands dirty again! Growing your company does not always mean making more money, if growing requires more overhead.... Think twice, and think again!! Still, let's get things moving! Fred Rutgers

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Rolf Kellner

rolfkellner-153832

Growing Your Business Small to Medium and Large - Questions to

Thanks Lyndon... as a SAP Senior Controlling Consultant I can give you a full OK for your list of points... still I am thinking about linking the european and the brazilian (amazonas) market together for the issue of protecting the Amazonas Rainforest... the first step my wife and I made is our online shop... if this shop growth to a standard like Mercedes-Benz has ;-) ... we can reach more goals than all the politicians in Rio+20 ... hmmm, maybe too huge, but who knows...

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Lyndon Wood

Lyndon

Growing Your Business Small to Medium and Large - Questions to

Any opinions or debates or comments on the subject of growth?

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