Expanding a business has a giddy tentative feeling about it. You are excited to start a new chapter, but also wonder if you have done enough to warrant the new space. Should you hope and focus too much on the second branch, you might end up compromising the first (the one with regular customers to boot). If you do not put in enough effort in the second, it becomes a weak move. You need to create a strong enough splash to catch people’s attention, but also a steady movement to keep it.

Here are some reminders of things you need to have in place before you branch out:

Have an adjusted business plan for your new location

While you have one successful store, it doesn’t mean there is less paperwork involved with the second. You still have to create a business plan, one that is tweaked to the nuances of your new store. Business plans outline your goals and target market. Being in a new neighbourhood, you are bound to encounter people who aren’t in your demographic. Will you add items to your inventory to accommodate this new market? Or will you stay with your original method? Do you have any competing businesses nearby? Are there opportunities that are unique to the new area? Be aware.

Have all your paperwork sorted out

Business permits, a certificate from your fire department or other inspection groups, and tax paperwork should be filed properly. If you are unsure about how you do it, you can have a lawyer go over the paperwork that needs to be filed. Be as meticulous as you were when you made your first store. All the same, rules apply.

Some of the certificates from bodies who do the inspection, like the one from the health and safety department, need to be renewed after a couple of months. Remember to have that scheduled in your calendar to keep your employees aware and not incur any fines for violations (if you are a service-based or food-based business).

Consult your accountant about what kind of numbers to expect

When planning for a new branch, there is always some forecasting effort to see if it is worth it. Consult with Central London accountants to double check your financial situation first. You need to be reassured that you are able to make the move. And second, besides the regular audit and taxes, they can help you with the expansion as well. They can help you sort out your margins and breakeven point. You can consult about anything financially related to your new business. When it comes to the numbers, you can never know too much.

Be excited about this new chapter in your business career. You would not have considered an expansion if you had not seen the numbers to back it up. Have confidence in your quality service and your market; after the groundwork is laid, all you must do is maintain it to reap the benefits.

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