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 centersWhere 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 customersIs 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 everythingHow 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)