Five tips for managing expansion

By: Darren Fell

Date: 24 October 2012

Five tips for managing expansion/business man blowing a balloon{{}}Expansion is a tricky process to navigate, even more so as a small business. It’s hard to manage, in that if you’re over-zealous, you could end up doing your business more damage than good. Equally, you don’t want to be too cautious and left regretting missed opportunities. If you’re currently in the process of expansion or have aspirations to expand, here’s some tips...

1 Build to scale from the beginning
Scalability is something you’ll need to be aware of from the outset of expansion. You’ll need to ensure that every aspect of your business has the capability to cope and perform under an increased or expanding workload. As soon as you begin envisioning a big expansion, stop, get ready and make sure your business is in the right shape.

2 Carry out an IT audit
It’s worthwhile examining each area of your business and checking that each area uses the best software. If you’re not already, consider using software that’s web-based, because each of these systems are normally more capable at handling expansion. Much of this web-based software will charge a monthly price per user, avoiding the massive capital outlays on software and servers that would be required in-house.

3 Get your own resourcing and HR person
With expansion, comes the recruitment of the extra staff. It’s worthwhile recruiting someone to specifically handle this side of things, their expertise ensuring that you get in exactly the right staff. Simultaneously, they can also help manage the many issues that can arise in the workplace. By taking these worries out of your hands, this will allow you to focus more of your energy on building the business.

4 Get an operations manager (if you haven't got one already)
As well as a bringing in someone responsible for HR, it’s also worthwhile getting an operations manager in place. Bringing their expertise into the business will assist the expansion process, ensuring that everything needed to handle the scaling is put in place, and importantly, has a process.

5 Get ready to put in middle management layers
While it’s still important to keep a keen eye on the respective facets of your business, getting in middle management layers helps ensure that each section is well looked after…without killing yourself.

• This blog was written by Darren Fell, managing director of online accountancy firm Crunch.