Startup Setbacks: 4 Mistakes to Avoid When Growing Your Small Business

Many small business owners have big goals. While they may have achieved success with their current small business, they wish to accomplish a whole lot more through future expansion. This is, of course, the story of the American dream. Most of the largest companies in the world started very small. Apple, for example, started in Steve Jobs’ garage.

However, sometimes small business owners run into serious setbacks when trying to act on their expansion plans. If you want your expansion to be successful, there are certain common mistakes you need to avoid. Below are four.


Not Doing the Proper Market Research

One of the most common forms of business expansion is simply starting new locations in different places. However, just because you have found success in one place does not mean you will find it everywhere else. There may be too much competition in certain cities. The consumers there may have completely different tastes. The only way you can discover these issues is through market research.


Not Having the Right Talent in Place

One common reason why expansions fail is due to the lack of talent to make those expansions a success. If you don’t have managers you can trust to oversee new locations, you are probably headed for a failed expansion. Don’t expect to be able to handle the entire workload yourself. You may end up overextended and in over your head. You’re going to need to delegate responsibility.


Not Evolving with the Times

Some expansion projects also fail because they fail to take into account current trends. For example, brick and mortar isn’t doing as well as it once did in every sector of the economy. It has been predicted that 25 percent of malls will close in the US. Choosing to expand into a mall is probably a poor long-term decision.


Not Being Prepared for the Needs of Customers

Expanding your business also means expanding the amount of customers you’re going to serve. You should ensure that you have the capability to provide excellent customer service on a much larger scale. You may, for example, need to outsource your telephone service to handle the much larger influx of calls you will receive.

From Walmart to Ford, all of the largest businesses in the world had very humble beginnings. If you want to achieve that kind of success with your own small business, it’s possible through the process of expansion. However, make sure you are also aware of the pitfalls you must avoid to make your expansion a success.


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