It’s always a good feeling when you start to see some growth in your online business and an even better one when that growth just keeps coming. But what’s the next step? Maybe it’s time to consider whether your online business might benefit from brick-and-mortar style premises. If you have thought long and hard and feel that moving your business into the ‘real world’ is a good, strategic move for you, then here are three things you need to be thinking about when making up your budget.
One of the first things you will need to decide on is where your premises will need to be located. The answer to this question will be entirely dependant on the kind of company you are running. If you offer an online service and are simply looking for a larger office space, you will be able to choose from a variety of places to suit your budget. Just be sure that there is a good level of public transport access, parking, and perhaps a shop or restaurant nearby. If you are a customer-facing or retails based business, then you will need to think a bit more carefully. You could choose to situate yourself in the main city centre, meaning that you will have increased pedestrian traffic but also increased rent or purchase costs. Or you could go for a venue further out in the suburbs which will make you less likely to have people visit you on a whim, but you would benefit from reduced rental costs. If your business relies on a high volume of footfall, then the city centre may benefit you better. If, however, you offer a slightly more niche product or service then your customers may travel to you, allowing you to opt to locate yourself in the suburbs
Any growth is going to bring an increased workload, and you would, therefore, need to hire some staff to accommodate that extra workload. Hiring and interviewing staff can be a very time-consuming process, so if you are incredibly busy, it may be worth outsourcing this task to a recruitment agency. If you do have the time to spare though, you will need to not only draft a decent advert but also go hunting for good quality staff yourself. It is often said that the best staff are already employed if that is the case you may find that your advert doesn’t get the level of response you were hoping for. Be sure to plan your interview process thoroughly; you have to impress your applicants just as much as they have to impress you.
As you operation expands and you are dealing with more, you will have to upgrade the equipment you are using to deal with the added workload. It can be tempting, especially during the costly process of expanding, to try to save money on the equipment you are buying, but this would be a false economy. Poor quality equipment such as computers, desks and chairs will wear out far too quickly and need replacing sooner than you think. Even if you have to stretch your budget a bit more than you planned, it’s worth spending money on quality merchandise. After all, that is what a secured personal loan is for. It has often been said that if you buy cheap, you buy twice. Therefore, it is advisable to invest in quality now, in order to save money in the long run.
There are many other important factors to consider when expanding your company into a brick-and-mortar business. But bear these three things in mind, and you will be on the right track to creating a budget that will cover the main costs of your expansion.