There’s no doubt that starting a new business can be very rewarding, but there are also challenges that come with it. Making sure that your business is thriving and taking the next steps will be vital to your success.

If you don’t make moves at the right time, your business could risk falling behind as the market evolves – or being cannibalised by a competitor. From exploring funding options to hiring the right staff, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to business expansion.

When is the right time to expand a business?

There are several initial questions that you should be asking of your business and your ability to run it. And with the current state of the UK economy, it’s natural to be concerned about the long-term outcome after any expansion project.

As you formulate a plan for growth, you’ll need to think about timescales too. The following questions should be thoroughly considered beforehand:

Can you afford the expansion?

You will need to acquire more space if you have physical assets, whether that’s people, stock, or heavy machinery. If your profits alone won’t cover your plans, it might be necessary to seek funding options.

If you’d like to generate some more income before you start, try to make sure that you haven’t overlooked any opportunities to optimise your existing market. In many cases, it could still be possible to find more customers to buy from your company – without spending a fortune on marketing.

Do you need to invest in new systems?

It’s possible that you might need to add new products or services into the mix. In order to do this effectively, you’ll need to know what your customers need and how much they might be willing to pay for them. New payroll systems can help to prepare your business for onboarding, especially if you’re expecting to hire significantly more employees.

Do you have a timeline?

You’ll need to make sure that you’re working to a realistic timeframe. Factor in all the costs incurred alongside the additional effort you’ll need to dedicate to your project while running business as usual. If you’re worried about being overtaken by a growing competitor, you might benefit from forming a new business partnership.

Has your business been profitable for long enough?

We’d always recommend paying attention to your trading history. Even if you’ve enjoyed a recent and significant surge in profits, you’ll need to know for certain that your success will last. Steady, predictable profitability proven over the course of a few years is a sign that you’re doing something right.

Have you done your research?

For any expansion project, market research will be invaluable. Along with being sure that it’s the best course of action for your company, you’ll need to make sure your staff would benefit from the upcoming changes.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for professional help if you’re feeling overwhelmed in the process. Don’t be proud and try to take on too much – or your existing company dynamic could falter.

Young business people are discussing together a new startup project. A glowing light bulb as a new idea.