Nobody starts a business without imagining that they can expand and grow. It would be fair to consider entrepreneurs as gardeners, and their companies as flowers from the seeds they sow. No gardener likes to see a bulb fail to flourish. And, no entrepreneur wants to see their business fall flat on the ground.
But, there’s more to this than meets the eye. Even a flower which is seemingly flourishing will only grow as much as its pot allows it to. If you want to get the full beauty of the thing, it’s crucial to move it to a larger container as it grows. And, the same thing can be said for your business. Even if you’re doing well as it stands, there will come the point where you can’t continue to grow without expanding. Your business roots will need more space to nourish your company.
Only, there’s a significant problem here. What if you can’t afford the large pot? What if you’re hesitant to grow because you’re afraid that business expenses will grow with you? It’s a relevant worry and one which holds many entrepreneurs back. Sure, you’re making a decent profit at the moment. But, do you want to risk that by spending where you don’t have to?
In truth, there’s no desperate urge to expand if you aren’t comfortable. You can probably carry on what you’re doing, and keep your business small. But, if you want to boost your profits to the big time, it will be necessary to spend a little on growth. One thing’s sure; you’ll never increase earnings by thinking only of the small-time. And, let’s be honest; we all want to see our companies earning as much as possible.
With that in mind, let’s consider the areas of growth you should focus on:
- Your business space
- Your team
- Your production
- Your reach
Of course, this isn’t all that expansion involves. But, these are the primary areas you need to get started in. You can delve deeper into your growth once you’ve sorted these simple foundations. It sounds like expensive stuff, right? And, it can be, if you don’t go about things in the right way. But, if you’re desperate to grow your business without breaking the bank, there are options available. And, to help you out, we’re going to look at a few of them here.
A cheaper team
Any entrepreneur worth their salt knows that a decent team of staff is essential for any growth. After all, if you want to take on more jobs and increase profits, you’ll need more hands on board. The chances are that you’re already working every hour under the sun and a bit more besides. So, there will come a stage when you’re physically unable to take more jobs on board. And, this is when you may want to consider hiring.
This is an excellent place to start, as you face the choice of either paying someone’s wages or turning money away. As such, you can already begin to justify this added cost. But, there’s no getting past the fact that even a small team will take a large chunk of your monthly profits. So, how can you lessen the blow on that count?
For one, it’s worth thinking of quality over quantity here. One qualified and reliable team member is sure to serve better than ten mediocre employees. So, be fussy about who you hire right now. Bear in mind that aiming right for the top will leave you paying out higher wages. Trained professionals rightly ask for more pay. But, opting for someone who’s got a year or so experience shouldn’t end up costing too much. Together, you can work on boosting profits. Soon, you’ll be in a position to hire someone else. Growing slowly likes this can lead you to a more substantial team in no time, and with no real impact on your profits.
If you’re hesitant to hire, why not work with freelancers for a while? This is a fantastic option if you want to boost your profits before committing to pay someone’s salary. Instead, a freelancer worker can do a set amount of jobs for a one-off fee. Admittedly, this will likely cost more with regards to work done. But, the one-time nature of this option would work well if you’re hesitant to agree to ongoing contracts as it stands. And, the increased potential freelancers bring could leave you in a position to hire someone for real.
A budget business space
With a larger team comes a need for a bigger business space. Your little office at home might have worked for you, but it could become a squeeze with two or more staff in there. Only, business spaces are sure to set you back a hefty sum, and you may not have that kind of money yet. So, what can you do?
For one, don’t think you have to kiss goodbye to home working just because you have a team now. As more individuals are working from home, it’s getting less unusual for staff members to join them there. But, you might want to make some alterations to your set-up. For one, that little office has got to go. Instead, consider whether you could transform part of your downstairs for this purpose. Or, could you build an outhouse which would give you all more space? There are costs involved here, but they won’t even be a drop in the ocean compared with buying a property.
Or, you could consider a rental. This may not be your ideal goal for the long-term, but you can always relocate your business down the line. Many startups have to rely on commercial rentals to get off the ground. Make sure it’s a temporary measure by putting a savings plan in place. The issue with this option in the long-term is that it could cost you more over time. But, it involves lower overheads and is a more feasible option to start. Aim to be in that rental for no longer than a year or two. It’ll serve a purpose and allow you to continue growing, while also helping you afford your own space.
Equipment for less
In the early days, it’s incredible what equipment us entrepreneurs manage to make work for us. One thing’s sure; it’s hard to come by decent production equipment when you’re not yet making a profit. As such, many of us operate using sewing machines and other household items we already have at home. It’s quaint, that’s for sure. And, it could give you the ‘homemade’ edge that works well in artisan circles. But, if earning potential is your priority, and let’s face it; it should be, this is not the way to continue. Again, you’ll find yourself in a position of having to turn work away. Plus, you can’t ensure consistent quality when each product is made like this. Hence, you may have to cover refunds and complaints which you wouldn’t get if you used proper machinery.
But, factory equipment is pricey. In fact, many pieces will cost nearly as much as your business space threatens to. So, how can you possibly achieve this? In truth, it isn’t easy. But, you can’t skip this step. A good team and an ample space won’t boost production much if you’re still making things by hand. And, there are some ways to keep costs down here. For one, you should find out any cheap ways to stock equipment. Looking out for auctions, like those held by Equify and other such companies, could serve you well here. Often, such equipment is in top condition, but companies are selling it on to cover gaps in profits. So, you could get a fully functioning piece of machinery this way.
Or, you could opt to hire machinery as and when you need it. This could be an excellent way to go if you’re on top of your organization. You could take your production line in sections to get the most use from each piece in the shortest time. Again, though, this isn’t a long-term plan. So, get saving if you want to make your life easier, and keep an eye out for bargains.
Larger reach without larger costs
There will come a time when expansion means more to your business than just within your local area. If you feel like you’ve met your potential where you are, you might want to take things further afield. Only, the costs here can be off-putting. In extreme cases, this means another business space, and a whole other team.
But, it’s possible you can keep this more modest, at least to start. Why not hire remote workers who can sell your products in new areas? This way, you can expand for the price of one extra salary. And, of course, let’s not forget the reach capabilities offered to you by selling online. By providing international shipping, you can take your company worldwide with barely any added cost to you.