As an owner/manager of a business, expansion is an exciting but challenging time. How do you know if your business is really ready to grow into larger premises?

The question of expansion is prompted by growth, whether that’s growth of workforce, or output if you trade in goods and products. If your business relies on specific machinery, plant or technology, your premises may need to expand in order to store new stock or items.

We’ve looked at four areas any business should look at before expanding.

Check your market

Does the increased demand for your services or products suggest you need to expand? What’s the forecast for trends, technologies and consumer behaviour in your sector? Before expanding as a business, it’s important to research whether there will be enough demand for the product or service you supply.

Connect with your customers

What do they want from you? How are their needs changing? Are there any changes in the way they shop, consume or make decisions? You’ve got to anticipate how your customers will react to your expansion.

Review your business needs

Business expansion is a great time to reassess key relationships with your suppliers. Optimise the fixtures and fittings in your new business premises, review your use of business energy and engage the help of business energy suppliers who will be able to help you cut costs from the outset. Your new business premises needs to serve many purposes, and being energy efficient is an important one.

What do your staff think?

You’ll need to think about location, capacity, transport links and storage. But don’t forget the softer considerations too. For example, how do your staff members feel about the proposed location? How will it affect their commute, their engagement with others, and their working day generally? These are all questions or scenarios you should share with employees, making sure not to spring the move on them.

Expansion is an exciting time but you shouldn’t forget to assess the risks and consider the appropriate ones to take. Have you recently expanded, or are you considering a bigger move? Write about your experiences below.

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