Business expansion results from business growth beyond your current capabilities. You outgrow your infrastructure, even if you are a consultancy of one very talented individual. You need more arms than you have on your body.
Many small to medium size businesses are starting small and staying small. The global economic meltdown (everyone remember that one?) has kept us all running lean and mean.
However, if you’ve done a solid job creating and growing your business, you will hit that critical mass when it’s time to expand. That doesn’t necessarily mean taking on permanent employees. Remember, there are lots of sole proprietorships out there who would welcome the opportunity to become part of your business model.
You’ve hit the wall when you realize you can’t do it all on your own. If you wait until this becomes painfully obvious, your current customers suffer in the process, from stalled deliverables to reduced quality outcomes.
You don’t want that to happen. Neither do I.
There’s strength in collaborative business expansion. You create a collaborative business ecosystem. You all have each other’s backs in the process.
Here are 3 Power Tips for what to do when you hit the wall in terms of business growth (don’t we all wish we had that “problem?”). When you are proactive and anticipatory of what’s involved to expand your business early on, before you need to expand, you will be ahead of the curve and glad you planned ahead.
Power Tip 1: Collaborative business expansion starts with your original business model. Dust yours off and take a look at it. If you don’t have a business model, call me. Then, make a list of what happens when you grow. Think Theory of Constraints. Identify the most critical area of business compromise due to business growth.
Power Tip 2: Collaborative business expansion continues by networking with colleagues to determine the vendors they use as virtual assistants, graphics designers, web maintenance, production, fulfillment, manufacturing, CAD output. You get the picture. Qualify these individuals. Start drawing from these resources before you have that emergency.
Power Tip 3: Collaborative business expansion means including your customers in this conversation. Your growth and expansion is due to their business and their loyalty to your company. Often current customers become the best sources of referrals and introductions into networks to launch your expansion. Remember, you are both invested in each other’s success.
Business expansion is a result of collaboration throughout the creation and growth of your business. Business isn’t conducted in a vacuum. Make continuous collaboration part of your business model.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a management consultant and business coach. Babette develops business, technical and engineering professionals of worth. She remodels startups and small-to-medium manufacturing and service companies experiencing difficulty with unpredictable revenue streams. Her book on communication and collaboration strategies and tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.