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Before You Expand Your Home Business – Do These Things First

Susan L Reid

Congratulations! You worked hard to get your new business up and running.

You poured energy into getting is noticed and known. You cultivated relationships and contacts, and as a result, your home-based business is bursting at the seams.

It's time to expand; but are you ready to grow your home business?

Business expansionCan your business survive expansion? Is it the best growth answer at this time? Will it take your business to the next level or keep you up at night worried about profits?

Before you decide to expand your home-based business, you need to make sure your business is ready for growth. If it's not, and you move forward with your expansion plans, it will spell disaster for you and your business.

That's why I've created this pre-expansion checklist. If you can check off all the things on this list, you will be well on you way to insure the success of your businesses' expansion and growth:

Pre-expansion Checklist for the Home-Based Business Owner

• Determine if this is a growth spurt or sustained growth. If you have been in business less than three years, what you may be experiencing is a growth spurt. Growth spurts are surges of activity indicating an interest for your product. Don't make the mistake of thinking a spurt is an indicator for future growth. Make sure you are showing steady, increased growth over the past two years.Expansion and growth

• Check your bottom-line profit numbers for the past three years. Has your business shown a consistent, steady growth?

• Look at the trends, both economic and consumer. Are there strong indications that your product has staying power? Especially in our current economic market.

• Do you already have in place the necessary administrative and management systems to support your expansion? The last thing you want to do is expand at the same time you're putting them in place. Instead, put them in place beforehand to keep your business running smoothly during the expansion.

• Do a new business plan. Not just an update. You're new business plan will help you determine when it's time to expand, what you need to have in place to make it happen, and how you'll accomplish it.

• Obtain financing. You'll need financing for an expansion. Don't depend on there being an increase in sales during your expansion. More likely, the opposite will be true. Just like when you started up, it will take more time and money than you think to grow, and sales will take time to match your expansion.

Internet business• Make sure your website is ready to handle the expansion. Besides having all the necessities for handling increased sales, make sure your product landing pages, home page, and navigation links are all optimized for the search engines and your clients. Your website has to be ready to play with the big boys and girls and must have a professional look and feel to it. Consider hiring a SEO expert to review your site and a copywriter to write great copy for key pages.

• Rev-up your sales to existing customers. Before you expand, boost you revenue by selling more to the customers you already have. You can do this through volume discounts, buy-two-get-one-free offers, and expanding your product line to include complimentary products. This will not only build in excitement and generate income; it will also get you used to handling more.

You worked hard to get your business where it is today. You've put a lot of time, energy, and money into making it the success that it is. Now, it's time to expand.

In order to make sure your business survives expansion and continues its projected growth, make sure you've checked off everything on the pre-expansion checklist for expansion success.

Copyright © 2008 by Susan L. Reid

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it:

Copyright ©2008 by Susan L. Reid, DMA

Dr. Susan L. Reid is a business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women starting up businesses, and is the award-winning author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success. If you are ready to take the first steps in owning your business, then get instant access to your own free PDF copy of “Doing What You Love: Multiple Streams of Passion” at http://www.SuccessfulSmallBizOwners.com 



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