Business expansions may not be as difficult as opening your business for the first time. However, it has its own challenges that if not addressed well, it may ruin your business.
Many business people look forward to the growth and expansion of their business, from one single location to multiple locations, and from serving hundreds to serving thousands and even millions of customers. These kinds of growth certainly one of the indicators of a growing and successful business which every company longed for.
Expanding this business may not be as difficult as opening a new business. However, the business operations will still possess their challenges. When not addressed effectively and efficiently, these challenges may hinder the growth and expansion of the business.
Some of the most common challenges include:
- Difficulties in maintaining brand standards across locations;
- Difficult to give a necessary share of time and efforts at each location to help them grow;
- Lack of spontaneous communications and collected ideas;
- Lack of team cohesiveness since members from different locations are often not known each other well;
- Targeted location branding can be challenging as the businesses are located at different places with different habits, cultures, situations, and conditions.
To face these challenges successfully, you will need to prepare a strong business operations strategy and operations management. Here are some important steps to follow in expanding your business to multiple locations.
1. Put systems in place
In scaling up your business and expanding to multiple locations, you will need to standardize the products quality, communication method, and the expected results. Once you have a standard system in place, it will be easier to manage multiple locations because all of them will have the same standard and principles.
Having a standardized system also allows your business to grow faster. Additionally, it reduces the efforts and time needed for supervising and training the team and growth of each location. Make sure each employee understand their responsibility from the beginning. Therefore, you will not find too many hassles in managing your business in multiple locations.
2. Adopt new technology
It is possible to manage business operations manually, even if you have expanded to multiple locations. However, operations management is going to be difficult and stressful without the appropriate technology. This is when you should adopt new technology into your business.
Mobile technology like Nimbly can transform manual operational processes into a digital one and make it much more efficient. This mobile solution helps businesses to automate operations management processes and gain actionable insights in real time. Therefore, multiple-location businesses can gain benefit from it by allowing them to manage their operations anywhere and anytime.
The digital checklist feature will help you turn the SOP into a digital checklist, making it easier to share between locations. Reporting will be hassle-free with one touch of a button only. Additionally, the issue tracker feature will also help in tracking, monitoring, and resolving issues in each location easily and quickly.
3. Streamline communication
As mentioned previously, communication is one of the biggest challenges that business with multiple locations faces. As the business grows, both internal and external communication becomes increasingly challenging. These two communications are highly important as this is how you can communicate the brand identity and standards.
In order to solve this issue and minimize any communication problems or misunderstanding, it is important to streamline the communication method. You will also need to understand the value and unique qualities that each location has. Thus, you can include them in your email marketing campaigns.
4. Unify the hiring process for your entire brand
Your business may be located in many different places or cities. However, you still need to make sure that all employees and team members have the same understanding and expectation regarding the brand. This can only be made possible if you unify the hiring process for your entire brand.
Unifying the hiring process does not mean that it has to be conducted in one city. You can always prepare a hiring team in each location and provide them with all the necessary information and methods regarding the necessary standards and hiring process.
5. Maintain brand standards
As your business grows, business standards become increasingly important. Each location will represent your business as a whole. Therefore, you need consistent quality products and services.
Provide consistent brand experience between each location to gain trust from your customers. This can only be achieved with good communication and brand management between locations.
Growing business to multiple locations is not impossible, albeit having multiple challenges. With a well-prepared operations strategy and operations management, expanding business can be achieved with minimum issues, risks, and challenges.
Nimbly is a mobile solution that digitizes operations, improves efficiency, and generates cost savings by providing companies' management with data-driven insights from field operations remotely and in real-time.