If you have been slowly growing your small business, there comes a point at which you can’t grow anymore with a deliberate expansion of your office space, your geographical reach, your customer base, or perhaps by upgrading your technology or processes.  When you get to that point, there are important decisions to be made, with the question of how to finance that expansion, either by finding investors or raising capital through a cash advance being one of the most important.  Before committing to expanding your business, be sure to ask yourself some important questions to be sure that you are ready for this next step!

Is it the right time?

This can seem to be an obvious question with an obvious answer – how can growing your business ever be bad?  The truth is that is you don´t have a clear and well-thought out answer to the question of what you hope to achieve by expanding operations, then you are probably not ready to expand.  The growth of a business should be occurring according to some goal or long-term strategy with benchmarks and other clear indicators of why and when it is time to grow.  A different way of knowing if this is the right time to expand is to ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t expand – are you up against some pressure that only expansion will solve, as in having not enough staff to get the work done, not enough trucks to deliver, or not enough space in your warehouse?

Do you have the right people?

In addition to the possibility of needing to raise capital to expand, you might need to expand your staff as well.  If you are considering opening a second store or office, or expanding into another city or country, the staffing needs could be considerable and quite specialized – unless you are planning to be directly and regularly involved in all of your businesses locations, you will need to have trusted and skilled people to take over a great deal of responsibility.  Do you currently have someone like that on your team already or will you need to conduct a search.  If you are making a significant overhaul of your processes or technologies, do you currently have people on staff with the skills to operate the new systems?  Will you need to expand your accounting team or your customer service staff?

Are you personally ready?

If you think back to how much work it was to get your business up and running at the beginning, you know how much time and energy it took.  Expansion will be every bit as time-consuming, with the added pressure of maintaining your existing business at the same time.  If you are thinking about growing, you should ask yourself if the timing is right for you.  Are you ready to jump back into that pressure and take on the stress of expanding our business?  Do you have family or other commitments that might compete for your time?  Are you prepared to put other goals or interests on the back burner for a while if needed?

Taking the decision to expand your small business should be the result of careful thought, planning, and evaluation. Once the decision is made, questions like how to finance the expansion and how it will proceed can be taken with confidence.