Planning to Expand Your Business – What Do You Need to Consider?

Running a business in the UK has become somewhat difficult, mainly down to the current inflation crisis gripping industries and households across the nation. As a potential UK recession rears its head, businesses are looking to hunker down – but this shouldn’t preclude you from looking ahead.

Ambition is often a catalyst for longevity, and if ever there was a time for ambition it is now. Business expansion is a serious endeavour, whichever form it takes, but it can illustrate financial health and stability within your industry even in times of crisis. What do you need to know, though?

What are the Costs?

The leading question regarding any potential business expansion is, naturally, what costs may be involved in the process. Expansion can take a number of forms, whether you intend to physically increase the square-footage of your operation (i.e.: the number of units or offices under your belt), or to push your products and services further afield to wider markets. There are inherent costs attached to each, and they can differ greatly both from one another depending on the size of your expansion plans.

For example, if you are opening another headquarters in another region, you will need to field costs associated with staffing and onboarding, as well as a fresh set of overheads and leasing costs. With the expansion of your workforce, you may also need to invest in payroll software to properly manage salaries and tax obligations. If you are bringing your product to a new territory, then you have market research costs to consider, as well as staffing a localised team to manage the roll-out.

Is There a Timeline?

The next question is also a crucial one, in that it requires you to define some aspects of your plan more concretely. Is there a timeline for your expansion? This can be approached from two different directions. The first relates to any milestones or deadlines you may have as part of your pre-existing business plan, while the second queries your readiness for expansion. If you don’t have a timeline, how do you expect to structure your expansion in a meaningful way?

Do You Need Outside Help?

As a follow-up, expanding your business – whichever way you intend to do so – can require a great deal of skill, knowledge and talent that may not already be within your business’ gift. If you encounter these roadblocks, are you prepared to take on third-party advice and counsel?

Have You Done Your Research?

Even if you settle on the need for third-party counsel and external expertise, you will still need to have an essential core level of knowledge about key aspects relating to your expansion – especially where new international territories or markets are concerned. Managing the logistics of the expansion is one thing, but the state of the international markets into which you are expanding (and the size of the market gap you intend to fill) are another entirely.

This is to say nothing of the fundaments, either. Simply put: have you arrived at the conclusion that expansion is necessary based on data and research, or is it just the next move you felt your business needed to make? This line of questioning may sound harsh, but it is important to understand the motivations for an expansion project to ensure it is as profitable as possible for your business long-term.

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