What Startups Should Know Before Expanding Their Businesses

Once you have everything in place for your shiny new business, the next step is expansion. To be prepared for any extra business coming in, you will need to improve infrastructure and have a few extra hands on deck. However, expanding your startup comes with a few pitfalls, so here are some top tips for how to avoid them when the time comes to grow.

Improve Your HR

Without a decent infrastructure in place, growing any business can prove difficult. To this end, your startup should have a good, reliable administration team. Admin staff who know their way around accounting software, spreadsheets, emails and customer service will be invaluable to your business.

If you don’t have a dedicated administrator, consider hiring one. They’ll be able to take care of all the useful tasks that you may not have the time or skills for. In the long run, they will prove to be a sound investment, even if hired on a part-time basis.

Hire the Right Staff

On the subject of recruitment, employing the best possible staff is a must. They should be good multitaskers, able to work flexibly when it suits your business and, above all else, have a strong skillset relevant to their role. Hiring the wrong person for the job could be costly when expanding.

To make sure you’re hiring the right person for your startup, don’t be afraid to look far and wide. To err on the side of caution, look for advice on immigration law when hiring someone from outside the UK. It could prove useful post-Brexit.

Money in the Bank

To finance any expansion in your startup, you’ll need to have a little bit of money set aside. Whether it’s for moving to a new, larger office space or for hiring another member of staff, budget for it, either by dipping into your bank account or through another means.

Startups in the UK can apply for various grants and loans. One such example is the government-endorsed Start Up Loans scheme; it offers grants of up to £25,000 for businesses that have been trading for under two years. Alternatives include crowdfunding sites or a friendly chat with your local bank.

Looking to the Future

To make sure you’re ready for growth, you need to have some medium and long-term goals. Think back to when you did your business plan before trading – did you meet your initial sales targets? If so, set the bar a little higher and do your best to get there. You do, however, need to be realistic.

When setting new revenue targets, look at potential markets for your product. Can you sell in different parts of your local area? Are you able to sell abroad? Do some more market research if you have the time. Also, it’s worth considering logistics and where you’re able to deliver to – the Royal Mail have a list of typical prices for delivering overseas.

Growing Pains

With expansion, there are a few things you need to adjust to. When hiring new members of staff, they’ll need to get used to their new role and the tasks involved. You’ll also have to make sure that everything is running smoothly, from sales and marketing to operations. If you are overseeing growth, it can be all too easy to take your eye off the day-to-day running of your startup.

The fact is that it takes time for an expansion to bed in. After working to the same goals for months on end, space and patience are needed in order to get to the next level, moving beyond the startup phase. If you have money in the bank and a client base to speak of, you should have those to fall back on should the worst happen.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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