If you have realized the dream of owning your own business, then you are among the growing number of Americans doing just that. Currently, upward of 14% of Americans own their own businesses.
Opening a business is only one piece of the puzzle. If all goes well, you will have a marketable product or service that appeals to consumers. Once you have established your initial business and opened your doors, don’t fool yourself into thinking you are finished planning.
Being successful in business is not an accident. It requires a lot of planning and careful attention to detail. One thing you don’t want to do is fall into the trap of becoming complacent. Looking ahead in an effort to be proactive, rather than reactive, will serve you well. You always need to be one step ahead, so your business runs seamlessly.
One consideration that should be on your radar is that of company growth and expansion. Often, when a business starts out, there are few if any employees. Many business owners are a one-person operation simply to keep overhead low. So, what happens when your business becomes so successful that you need help?
When the time comes to expand a small business, many key logistics come in to play. Some things you would be wise to consider are finances, demand for your product or service and market saturation. Can your business afford to finance the growth? Will additional overhead reduce your profit margin? Will you be stretching yourself too thin by opening another location? By expanding your business are you selling out your original dream? All of these factors require careful consideration.
So, let’s say that you have considered all of the above and you go forward with expansion. What’s next? Chances are you will need help. Do you hire employees or independent contractors?
Small businesses tend to have a need for a flexible workforce. This is true especially in the beginning stages of any expansion. You don’t want to end up top heavy with employees and not have enough work to go around. You also don’t want to experience a growth spurt and not have enough bodies. If that leaves you scratching your head, you need to weigh your options and decide what is best for your particular business. Below you will find a list of pros and cons to each scenario.
This chart is a guideline for your consideration. If you are considering expanding your small business, it will be well worth your while to make a check list and invest in a consultation with an Attorney that specializes in small businesses. Don’t jeopardize what you have worked so hard to build.
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way.