One of the most significant milestones for any business is the day it reaches a point of expansion. While every business owner looks forward to the day they can grow their business, it’s important not to be hasty in doing so. A successful business expansion depends on a number of factors and needs to be carried out at the right time. To help you understand when the time is right for you to expand your business operations, 13 experts from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) answer the following question:
“What’s one sign it might be time to expand your business operations, either by opening up another retail store, diversifying your product offerings, etc.?”
Be sure to look for these signs before you make any expansion plans.
1. Demand Is Higher Than You Can Handle
“One of the first signs that it might be time to expand your business is when you have higher demand than you can handle. But make sure to track and check your sales history to ensure your spike in sales isn’t because of a holiday season or special event. You need to be confident that the increased interest in your brand is genuine and not just a good month.” ~ Benjamin Rojas, All in One SEO
2. Your Sales Have Hit a Plateau
“When you no longer see repeat customers and your sales numbers hit a plateau, it’s time to diversify your product offerings. There is great value in having a limited SKU. However, if your brand advocates and committed customers have purchased all they can, it’s time to start looking at how else you can serve them and what products they would be excited to purchase.” ~ Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.
3. You Get Bored and Need a New Challenge
“A clear sign that it’s time to expand is when you get bored. I get bored when things are running smoothly and are self-sustaining. In order for me to stay connected to the business, I have to be trying new things, learning and troubleshooting. When we get to the wash-rinse-repeat stage, I get antsy because I need a new challenge.” ~ Marjorie Adams, Fourlane
4. You Can Afford to Hire and Pay the Best Talent
“The best time to expand your business is when you can afford to pay really good people to run your current operations so you can focus on new opportunities. If you don’t have the money to do so, then your current business needs your attention. Founders need to focus on what they have in front of them before trying to take on new markets or their current business will never be first in its class.” ~ Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences
5. Your Current Location Is Overwhelmed During Peak Hours
“A significant sign that it’s time to expand business operations and/or open more locations is when a current location is being overwhelmed during peak demand hours for your particular product or service offering. When lines become so long that the customer experience is diminished more with each visit, brand loyalty can start to erode. Providing more location options can alleviate this problem.” ~ Richard Fong, SeniorStrong.org
6. You See a Change in Customer Goals or Problems
“You should consider expanding your operations if you see a change in customer goals and pain points. I suggest gathering feedback from your customers through email, social media and on-site conversations. Look through the data and identify breakthrough trends that suggest it’s time to create a new product or service.” ~ John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
7. Your Customers Are Looking for a New Product
“One sign it may be time to expand your business by diversifying your offerings is when your customers start asking you about a new product or service. When I started my first business, I only offered niche-specific copywriting. Yet, as we grew our team and client roster, we started offering PR, digital marketing and website development based on our client needs and requests.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
8. You Feel Like You Have Things Under Control
“Before you think of expanding or opening another store, your existing business should be secure, profitable and running smoothly. If you still have problems that need to be resolved, it’s best to get everything in order first or you’ll bring these challenges to the expanded business and they could be multiplied.” ~ Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
9. You’ve Reached Profitability or Capacity Limitations
“A good thing to look out for is when you’re reaching profitability or capacity limitations within your business. These are all signs that it’s time to grow. Success buys the optionality to try new things and expand operations.” ~ Tyler Quiel, Giggster
10. You’re Missing Out on Too Many Opportunities
“If you have an opportunity or two pass you by, it is disappointing. But if you continue to have opportunity after opportunity slip through your fingers and you’re more than interested, but you simply don’t have the capacity to take any more on, then it’s probably time to think about expanding your operations. Add to your team, open another location, diversify your offerings, etc.” ~ Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
11. You’ve Gotten Too Comfortable in Your Role
“If you feel as though you’ve gotten too comfortable in your role, it might be time for an expansion. There are always ways to spruce up your strategy and avoid being stagnant. You want to see your business at its full potential and, as such, it’s important to consider how you can get out of your comfort zone.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
12. You’ve Run Out of Space for People and Products
“One sign that you need to open up a new location is when your space is getting tight. If you see your employees are scrunched desk-to-desk or there isn’t enough space to store your products, you know that it’s time to expand.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
13. You’ve Achieved Stable Profits and Cash Flow
“An obvious sign that it may be time to expand your business is when you’ve achieved a stable cash flow that can support investment in growth. When you’ve achieved financial and operational stability and have an excess in funds, you should begin to explore your options. If you are running in the black, you can use that surplus to do considerable amounts of market research before rushing a decision.” ~ Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC
And know that it’s okay to continue running a stable, profitable business simply because it provides for your needs. Not everyone needs to expand/grow.
I appreciate the article. I agree that one must expand their business once they reach this level. That will help to gain more attention and customers to their business.
Once one reaches this level of success, they must consider expanding their company in order to gain more attention and customers. I really love this article.