Lots of companies start from home- in fact, some of what are now the world’s largest businesses began in basements, bedrooms and garden sheds. So just because yours has come from humble beginnings doesn’t mean it can’t go far. If you’ve reached a stage in your home businesses where you’re ready to expand and move forward, here’s how you can take it from a small to medium sized venture.
Move to commercial premises
If you’ve previously been running your business from home and are looking to expand, the first logical step would be to move to commercial premises. Having your own professional business area can be a great move for your business. It gives you somewhere that customers and clients can visit if needed, as well as gives you much more physical space than you’re ever going to have in a home office. Spend time searching for the perfect location and building for what your company does. For example, some businesses will need to be in the heart of the action, on a highstreet or other busy area if it relies on foot traffic. Others will be able to hire premises a little further out- in retail parks or office buildings on the outskirts of towns or cities which can give you more for your money. Think about transport links as well as accessibility in and around the building itself. You can always move to another location later down the line if your business continues to expand or the premises isn’t suitable, but it’s a bit of a hassle so it pays to find something you can stay in for the foreseeable future.
Open new departments
Moving to commercial premises enables you to open more departments. For example, if you sell products you could open a warehousing and shipping area at the back of your store, or even look into opening a manufacturing plant. Some manufacturing processes will be easier than you think, the injection moulding process for example is fairly simple with the right equipment. Workshop equipment such as saws and lathes can enable you to manufacture certain products, and high quality sewing machines will make creating textile items a breeze. Other departments you will need are a finance department for payroll, accounting and tax. You’ll need a human resources department to deal with your staff, and a marketing department for advertising and promotion. You don’t have to keep all of these things in-house, in some cases it’s better to outsource. Decide which departments you want to run yourself and hire staff for, and which you will hire online companies to tackle.
Speaking of staff, this is another thing you’ll need to do when expanding your company. Taking on employees when you’ve previously just worked by yourself can be a big deal, and there’s more to it than you might think. You need to brush up on the law, you need to know what you’re legally obliged to provide to staff from minimum wage payments to health and safety and a pension. You’ll need to know how to advertise, recruit and interview to find the best staff for the job, and how to create a workplace environment that will make employees want to stay.