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Taking the plunge and setting up on your own is one of the hardest, but most rewarding challenges that you can take on in your working life. More and more of us are opting to set our own rules (and working hours), find our passions in life, and creating something true to ourselves. Getting a start-up running smoothly is no small matter, but once you are operation and even turning a profit, a great challenge lies ahead: how to go about expanding. Sometimes knowing where to start can be the biggest barrier, so set your sight on progress and remember the basics below.
Find Other Businesses to Partner With
Sometimes, expansion can be as simple as finding partner businesses to work with. By pairing up, you gain the benefit of each other’s resources, including staff time, customer data and facilities. The trick is finding a company that has compatible – not competing – interests and identifying areas of mutual benefit to present to them. Getting serious about networking can help you find suitable partners, where both companies can bring something to the table. It’s a excellent way to expand sales without usually needing to invest in costly infrastructure.
Locate The Investment You Need
Financing an expansion effort can be almost as much of a hurdle as gaining the cash to set up in the first place, but you do have the bonus of a track record of success to help persuade investors. There is quite a lot of government funding available from economic development authorities to help your business grow – so check the U.S Small Business Administration as a starting point, before seeing what is out there at a local level too. You may require a small business loan to purchase equipment or make an investment, so look for credit unions and the rise of specialized lenders such as Kabbage, who support online retailers, or Biz2Credit. Remember to include a budget for marketing your new offer too.
Get Help With Hiring The Best Talent
If you need bodies to expand, then making recruitment mistakes can be costly and time-consuming, just when you most need to focus your efforts. So it may be worth calling in a recruitment professional in your sector to help with the hiring. Not only will the best ones already have an overview of key players in the market, but they’ll be able to take on some of the administrative burdens and pre-screen new candidates for you. If it’s your first time hiring, they can also help you to avoid legal pitfalls by ensuring that you have the correct policies, legal cover and employers liability insurance in place.
Consider Your Location
If you’re expanding operations, often you’ll need to consider new premises. You may just have been working from a co-working space or a home office before, but expansion means you’ll need to house new people and equipment well. Find space in a dedicated start-up hub that offers access to in-house legal and marketing services, or consider setting up a custom space – perhaps you could fit out a warehouse space or consider a fabricated best steel building to house a tailor-made set-up? When you source your new space, factor in future projected growth as well and future proof your premises for future expansions.