There are many factors that determine whether or not your small business is ready to expand to a new location. One factor is supply and demand. When a business receives more customer requests than it can accommodate, it could be a sign that expansion is needed. Especially when a high percentage of these requests are not coming from a close proximity of the current location.
However, there are several things to consider before expanding.
How strong are your recruiting, hiring, and training processes?
Typically, members of the current staff will need to move over to the new office, whether temporarily or long-term, to get things up and running with a solid foundation, as well as train additional employees. Ideally, this process should be underway before the new location opens (preferably with the training done at the initial location) so that a competent staff is already in place from day one. The primary focus at the new space upon opening should be to immediately begin generating revenue, not to hire and train a startup team.
Are there efficient systems in place?
One reason why chains and franchises, such as McDonald’s, are able to seamlessly open new locations is that they have standardized business methods and practices.
Staff members at the new location shouldn’t have to “reinvent the wheel” create new business structure. This is, of course, short of minor adjustments due to market research and demographics as done by management. The primary focus at the new location should be to generate revenue, not come up with a new action plan.
Who will manage the new area?
Will the current manager bounce between the two spaces? Strong, experienced, full-time management needs be onsite in order to be most effective. This management can figuratively take ownership of the location. Seasoned employees who have been trained and promoted from within are always great candidates for this role. For example, you may put assistant manager at the current location in the position. This individual will already be accustomed to the systems and procedures that are already in place. This person should show that he or she can successfully manage the existing location before any expansion begins.
Cory Collins is the President/CEO of Ample Opportunity, Inc, a business consulting firm that specializes in business coaching, leadership development, and sales training. He is also a Certified Speaker, Coach and Trainer with the John C. Maxwell Team, and Founder of the Central Florida Business Alliance.