Ready to Grow Your Business? 4 Things to Consider When Expanding

by Alli Cannon

So, you started a small business and made it profitable. You’ve beaten the odds and want to replicate your success.

Expanding your business may seem like the obvious way to go, but there’s a lot you should consider when making the leap and opening another location.

Here are four things you should consider when expanding your business.

Don’t Try to Reinvent the Wheel

There’s a reason your current business is successful. When you’re expanding, do your best to replicate that success as closely as you can. When adding a new location, it can be tempting to incorporate a bunch of new ideas. But an expansion already has a certain amount of risk. Do your best to reduce that risk by modeling your next location after your current one. Once the new location is operating at a profit, you can try rolling out some of those new ideas.

When considering an expansion, it’s a great time to review your current processes and systems and document them. Creating process guidelines will benefit your business no matter what, but will truly be invaluable during an expansion. Should you decide to expand, having these processes documented will ensure continuity across all locations.

Clarify Your Motivations

It’s no secret that entrepreneurs like a challenge and many of us crave excitement and change. Once your business is up and running, it can start to feel more routine and less exciting than you’re used to. Many business owners see that as a good time to expand, but there’s much more you need to consider when deciding if expansion is the right choice for your business.

  • Why do you want to expand?
  • What do you want to achieve with the expansion?
  • Do you have time to manage multiple locations?
  • Do you have enough capital to support an expansion?
  • Are there any issues with the business that need to be resolved before you can expand?
  • What’s the right time in your fiscal year for the expansion?
  • Is your success tied to your specific location? Can it be replicated elsewhere?

If you’re considering an expansion, it’s critical to have a good understanding of your motivations and expectations before moving forward. You want to be sure you’re expanding your business for the right reasons.

Note: In most cases, it takes a lot of money, in addition to time and energy to expand a business and make it successful. If your main motivation is increased revenue, you should probably explore options for increasing revenue at your current location, such as expanded hours, increased product offerings, promotions, and marketing, before taking on an expansion. It might be possible to hit your increased revenue goals without taking on the risk of an expansion.


Expanding your business will take a lot of planning. Here are just a few of the things you’ll need to plan for when expanding your business

  • If you’re expanding into a new geographic location, you’ll need to understand business licensing and compliance for the new area.
  • You’ll want to create detailed financial projections to understand how much capital you’ll need to invest.
  • It’s important to understand how long the revenue from your existing location can support the new location.
  • If the locations are far apart, how will you manage your time and resources?
  • Will you have access to the same vendors?
  • How will you train and manage staff across multiple locations?
  • What if the new location is unsuccessful? What’s your exit plan?

As we all know, nothing ever goes completely according to plan. However, understanding and preparing for any eventuality will make it easier to spot potential problems and give you a better chance of long-term success.

Keep Your Culture

Your company’s culture is an intangible and often overlooked component of your success. When expanding, it can be difficult to keep the same culture across all locations. In addition to bringing systems and processes from your existing location, you may want to consider bringing some key staff members to the new location, as well. It will help give the new locations continuity and connection and will help the staff feel more invested in the overall success of the business.

A business expansion is a huge undertaking that shouldn’t be launched on a whim. But with proper planning and forethought, it can be exactly what you need to take your success to the next level.

Are you considering a business expansion? What’s your biggest roadblock?

About the Author: Alli Cannon is a licensed attorney, certified mediator, and successful entrepreneur working in Houston. She is the owner of Cannon Law, a law firm she founded, which is dedicated to defending clients accused alcohol-related offenses.

Picture credit:

unsplash-logoMaria Agudo López

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