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10 Keys to Expanding Your Business

Knowing how to expand a business is crucial to sustaining your business’s success and financial well-being. If you fail to grow and adapt your business, you risk being left behind as the market changes or having a competitor steal your business from you and mirror it.

However, it also means putting in the extra hours it takes, possibly hiring more employees or contractors and maybe even getting funding to cover the increased cost. Before you take the leap, you want to be sure your business is ready to expand.

Knowing when it’s time to expand your business

To know when to expand a business, consider the following factors. If several are true of your business, it may be time to branch out:

  1. You have a loyal customer base.
  2. Customers are asking you to grow.
  3. Your business has been profitable for three-plus years.
  4. You have a strong team to support expansion.
  5. Your industry or market is growing
  6. You have steady, positive cash flow
  7. You have more business than you can handle.
  8. You see a need for related products or services.
  9. You have operational systems in place, including business software that can scale.
  10. You’re running out of room — literally.
Strategies to expand your business

Once you’ve established that expansion is the right move for your business, consider these ten tips to take your operation to the next level.

  1. Add new offerings
  2. Optimize your existing market
  3. Claim a niche market
  4. Move into new markets
  5. Seek referrals
  6. Explore online sales channels
  7. Partner with other businesses
  8. Acquire a new business
  9. Franchising
  10. Research your competition

The cost of expanding a business will depend largely on the type of business you have and the scope of your expansion plans. For example, it can be especially costly to expand your product offerings or acquire an existing business. On the other hand, starting an e-commerce store or expanding your existing market can be lower-cost strategies. Regardless of which approach you utilize, you may need outside financing to help cover the upfront costs. Some business expansion loans to consider include term loans, SBA loans and equipment financing. We recommend comparing your business loan options to find the best fit for your expansion needs together with me to determine the best direction to go when it comes to your business’s growth and expansion.

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A version of this article originally appeared on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.