Content provided by a guest contributor.
Generally, small businesses set out to grow. You want your business to thrive and make a name for itself. Most of all, you want to increase your profitability. So, you build your customer/client base, hire more staff and invest your time and energy to make your business a success.
But how do you know it’s time for your business to grow? How can you be sure you’re up for the challenge?
What is your financial situation?
What do your profits look like right now? Do you have the money at hand to grow your business yourself or do you need investors? You need to look at money first. There’s no use planning to expand when you don’t even have access to machinery asset finance. Take a long, hard look at your current finances before you put more money into building your business. You need to make sure you’re making a calculated decision.
Is your brand big enough?
Sure, you have to spend money to make money and that’s truer than ever when it comes to getting your brand known. But you need to make sure you will have enough of a customer/client base to justify growing your business. If no one knows about your company yet (whether through marketing or word of mouth), you will have to prioritise marketing when you expand.
Will growth be good for your customers/clients?
In some cases, the main reason that an SME is successful is exactly because it’s a small business. People use the service or buy the product because of the personal touch they wouldn’t receive from a larger company. Before you invest in growing your business, you have to make sure you’re not giving up your main selling point.
Who are your competitors?
What is the market like in your industry? Is there a need for your product or service on a larger scale? If there are already big brand names competing for business in the industry, what makes yours unique? The more competition there is, the more you need to spend in order to grow your business. Is there something that sets you apart from the others or are you simply going to need to work harder to create a more substantial customer/client base?
At the end of the day, growing your business is a big risk. If it’s a success the risk is worth it. But if you’re not ready to expand, you may end up losing your business altogether. So, it’s important you know for certain that you’re ready to make the move.
The content in this article was provided by WesBank, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, who provide equipment finance for businesses to keep running.
With over 40 years' experience in the industry, WesBank is a leading Vehicle and Asset Finance provider and part of one of the largest financial services groups in Africa. WesBank is the partner of choice for over 60 leading international brands including automotive OEMs, insurance providers and oil companies.
We focus on providing secured instalment finance to the retail and public sectors and corporate markets, together with a range of related services including insurance, fleet management and full maintenance lease.
WesBank is a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, South Africa's most innovative bank and the second largest listed banking group (by market capitalisation) on the JSE. The group is differentiated by its owner-manager culture and operates through a portfolio of four separately branded franchises:
- Instalment finance through WesBank, one of Africa's top vehicle and asset finance providers by market share
- Retail, commercial and wholesale banking through First National Bank (FNB), one of Africa's largest retail, commercial and wholesale banks by assets
- Investment banking by Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), one of Africa's leading investment banks by peer ranking and industry awards
- Investment management by Ashburton Investments, offering traditional and alternative investment products.
For more information, contact:
Tel: 0861 922 677