5 signs that it's high time to expand your business
Submitted by Catrin Fox on
There are certain hallmarks of a successful company you can't help but notice. For instance, you recognise their company branding. You know the founder's name. You hear good things about them in conversation. You might even catch yourself humming their advertising jingle.
Of course, success means entirely different things depending on the company seeking it. A startup might view the first stage of success as breaking even, whilst a global corporation operates a deeply layered strategy of performance indicators ranging from ROI to website sales conversions and, yes, the perceived success of its advertising jingle.
But how do you know when your own business is beginning to show signs of success -- and when is the right time to act on it?
If you suspect it may be time to ring the changes, watch out for these top five signs:
1. You have effective leadership
For Neil Ducoff, business founder, CEO and coach, arguably the most important marker of success is leadership.
"The owner of a successful business functions as a businessperson," Ducoff states, speaking via the Strategies blog. "This means that the owner is engaged, accountable and drives performance by paying attention to the business."
"It’s easy to identify owners that are so engrossed in their non-leadership work that the business is essentially free-floating without direction, structure or systems. This is the equivalent of trying to run a business by remote control. It just doesn’t work."
2. Your team is onboard
For Bob Davis, general partner at venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners in Massachusetts, a crucial factor in every investment decision is whether or not the company in question has the right staff to accelerate growth.
"Very often you see companies that do the same thing, where one wins and one loses, such as Facebook and Myspace," he says, speaking to Paula Andruss via Entrepreneur. "So why does one win and one lose? Generally one has a great team that out-executes the other."
"Without great leaders and then the right people in place, even the greatest idea is going to struggle," Davis says. "But with an amazing team, mediocrity can turn into something special."
3. You're in demand
If demand is consistently outstripping capacity, particularly if customers are coming to you with minimal effort on your part, it may be time to put your expansion plan into action.
In fact, inaction on your part may even be detrimental, particularly if you are failing to deliver on orders on time or the quality of your output is slipping.
Your reputation is at stake, and if you can spot an opportunity to take the next step, this could well be the pivotal moment to take the leap.
4. You have a solid operational grounding
If you booked a spur of the moment expedition to Outer Mongolia departing tomorrow, could you confidently hand over the reins of your business to someone else? If not, then you may lack the structural capacity required for expansion.
Likewise, if your sales quadrupled overnight, could your customer service team handle the influx of demand? Can you bring in temporary staff at short notice? Is your training process tried-and-tested or is your company handbook gathering dust at the back of a cupboard? Do you have adequate storage, desks, and office space for more people?
All of these elements require careful consideration, unless you wish to drive headlong into an embarrassingly short-lived period of expansion.
5. Your workspace environment is 'dressed' for success
Your working environment is the place in which your employees spend the majority of their day, five days per week -- and it has a direct correlation with their happiness, company buy-in and productivity.
Neil Ducoff explains, "It’s common for owners to ask me, 'What’s the first and most important thing I can do to turn my business around?' More often than not, my response is, 'clean it, paint it and refurbish it.'"
"Front door to back door, everything about the facility should communicate and support its brand identity... Walls, décor, posters, pictures, bathrooms and dressing rooms should be spotless. Reception areas should look organized and professional."
"Dress for success applies to work environments too."
For business owners and teams operating within a high-end serviced office environment, every workspace is already dressed for success. Clients of Landmark in Central London also have the opportunity to brand their workspaces, which transforms a professional and 'well-dressed' environment into an extension of your brand.
Best of all, serviced offices provide room for growing businesses to scale. Whether you're looking to transition your solo venture into a professional team for the first time, or you're looking to establish a regional branch office, serviced offices are perfectly suited for the job.
Find out more about our flexible workspace environments by speaking to a member of the Landmark team.