Planning to Expand Your Business? Here’s What to Keep in Mind

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If you are considering expansion for your business, there are a few things to take into consideration. To successfully expand, it is essential to consider the following: where you will be expanding, how much money you have available for expansion, and what risks might be associated with the different scenarios. This article will cover these three ideas in-depth and arm you with valuable insight on how to approach expansion!

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Expand Your Knowledge 

When it comes to expanding your business, you need to make sure that you are knowledgeable about all the possible risks and rewards associated with the move. To make an informed decision, it is essential to expand your business knowledge by researching different aspects of expansion through books and online resources. You could learn more from Dave Conklin, author of “Lost at 30,000 feet” to gain a better understanding of business and growing in the digital landscape. This includes learning about the various ways to expand, how to finance an expansion, and what could go wrong. By taking the time to educate yourself on these topics, you’ll be in a much better position to decide if expansion is right for your business. You’ll also have the opportunity to avoid potential problems that could arise from an uninformed expansion.

Reasons to Expand Your Business 

To determine whether you want to expand your business, it is essential to think about the reasons why you might be considering this move. In addition to evaluating the risks associated with expansion, it’s important to also consider the benefits of expanding your business. The best way to complete this task is by creating a pro/con list documenting all the possible benefits and risks associated with making a move. By simply writing down all of the pros and cons on paper, you’ll gain a better understanding of what challenges may lie ahead in the process of making any sort of decision-related to expanding your business.

When and Where to Expand

Deciding when you are ready for expansion depends mainly on whether you are prepared financially and how much money you can invest. If your company is performing well (or even if it isn’t), several signs indicate that now might be time for expansion:

* Current market conditions support strong demand for your product or service.

* You expect current profits to continue at least three years into the future.

* You have access to additional capital/funding through partners, banks, etc.

* Investing in growth would significantly increase your market share in your current industry.

* You have attracted and retained a strong management team that can handle future growth.

When it comes to deciding where you would like to expand, it is essential to consider whether there’s an overseas market that is very similar or different from the one you currently serve. Decide what area of your business needs more attention. Are there opportunities that are being missed? Are you focusing too heavily on the same demographic? Make sure that you take time to ponder the possible rewards that could be gained from expansion into a new demographic, industry, or market.

Risk vs. Reward

When deciding whether or not expansion is right for your business, it’s important to think about the risk versus reward ratio involved with this decision. While it may be wonderful to gain access to new markets, the process doesn’t come without its risks. Take time to create a list of what you believe are all the possible risks that could arise from an overseas expansion. This is an opportunity for you to think about any potential problems that might affect your business in the long run. By creating this list, you’ll have a better understanding of whether or not there are specific issues that should be addressed before moving forward with any kind of expansion plan. Here is a list of potential risks:

* Financial Risk – You might not have enough money set aside to fund the overseas market penetration strategy outlined in your strategic plan. 

* Operational Risk – You need more information on operational practices needed within each specific country.

* Infrastructure Risk – You might be unable to meet the infrastructure needs of your customers and employees. For example, it may not be possible to deliver products within a specific country in a timely fashion, or you can’t get needed supplies for manufacturing because of transportation issues.

* Political and Regulatory Risk – You need more information on tax laws and regulations involved with doing business overseas. 

* Socio-Cultural Risk – It’s essential to understand how people from foreign countries think about your product, service, etc. Also, take time to consider whether the expansion will truly allow you to access these markets effectively (which is dependent on cultural norms). 

* Competition Risk – Is someone else already in this market? If so, why have they been successful? What are they doing better than you? 

* Legal Risk – Are the laws in this country strictly enforced? Do you have all of the legal paperwork needed to conduct business here? 

* Relationship Risk – When expanding into new markets, you must take the time to develop strong relationships with new contacts. If these relationships are not developed properly, then problems could arise which would hamper your ability to do business effectively. This is perhaps one of the biggest risks associated with expansion into a foreign market.

What It Will Cost You

Before you decide to expand your business, it is essential to take time to understand what kind of costs are associated with this type of move. Make sure that you document all of the expenses involved in making an overseas move, so you’ll have a clear idea of what your financial limits are. In addition to documenting the costs associated with buying inventory and hiring additional staff members to handle the increased workload from expanding overseas, you also need to take time once again to consider all possible risks. Although there may be many benefits that come along with expansion into a new area, you must know about (and factor in) any potential challenges that could arise as well.

businessWhether or not overseas market penetration is right for your business depends on many factors. Taking time to truly think about your company goals and use them as a gauge can help you make an informed decision about whether or not it makes sense to expand in this area. If your goals entail reaching a global customer base, then expansion is likely right for you. When considering whether or not to expand overseas, remember the importance of considering all possible challenges and risks involved with such a move.