Grow or No-Grow? Three Factors Entrepreneurs Should Consider

September 2016

You’ve beaten the odds. You’ve established a successful business. Things are running smoothly and you’re already months or years ahead of your original business plan. Now comes the hard part, a question you would have been thrilled to face in the early start-up stages of your company.

Do you expand the business, or leave well enough alone? There’s not one right answer, it differs for every entrepreneur, but here are some factors you should consider.

1. Maintaining customer service

If you decide to expand your business, will you be able to maintain the quality of your service or product? Do your customers now enjoy person-to-person contact with you that they’ll lose? Do you have a hand-picked staff that you know you can rely on, and if you enlarge your staff, will you be able to maintain the quality control that made your company a success? What about suppliers? Can they keep up with your larger customer base or will you have to look beyond those suppliers that have served you well thus far?

2. The overall business outlook

This one’s tricky and a little scary, especially since there’s an election looming. Whichever candidate/party predominates in November, there will be business ramifications. Although a win by either party will likely not have earth-shaking consequences for the overall business climate, there will be an impact in the areas of international trade deals as well as domestic taxes, hiring, and investment. Beyond the election, there is also the business cycle to consider. Having been up by most measures for several years now, are we due for a correction, not only in the stock market, but also in other similar business metrics? Or have the powers-that-be learned enough from the Great Recession of the late 2000s that any possible downturn will be modest?

If you were in business before 2008, you survived through the Great Recession, but you might have had to lay off employees or cut back in other ways. Thus, you might be leery of expansion until you’re certain of any economic correction and the overall business climate after the election. On the other hand, if you started your company in the hectic years after that and still managed to be a success, you might feel more confident in your ability to weather any coming economic storms. As a business owner, you may want to consider a business loan from a lender like One Park Financial. A loan while business is good will provide financial “insurance” should a crisis hit. Remember, it’s virtually impossible to get a loan when a business is failing. It’s always better to have a safety net.

3. Impacts to your current lifestyle

You’ve worked so hard to get to your current stage of success. If you expand your business, will you have to work even harder? Give up even more time with family and friends? Make even more sacrifices to keep your company thriving? Or can you find ways to streamline, outsource, or otherwise keep things humming without any further time commitment on your part? Will any additional profit offset the extra workload?

There is an element of risk in any endeavor. You know this, because you took on the enormous risk of starting your own business, and you’ve prevailed. One of the reasons you did so was because you explored all the possible pitfalls in advance. So these are just three more factors to consider as you mull possible expansion. If considering an expansion, speak to an expert at One Park Financial about expansion loan options available to you.