Is your product or service in demand? It might be time to scale your small business! If you want to expand, here are questions you should address before you put the wheels in motion.
1) How does the future of your industry look?
Now is a good time to do an overall analysis. Start by reviewing the following questions:
- What are the strengths of your biggest competitors? (Include both small and large companies in your industry)
- What are your competitors doing that you're not?
- What's going on in the economy?
- What's going on in the industry?
The Small Business Administration has a section on their website about how to understand your market that can give you a solid starting point.
2) Do you have the inventory to scale?
SmartBiz Customer Bryan Tracey owns SkateXS, a company that creates kid-sized skateboards. His business was poised on the brink of big growth but they didn’t have the inventory to keep up with demand. He says, “During Christmas, we can get over 10 times our normal orders in a single day. Somehow we had to come up with significant cash flow in August and September to get inventory ready.”
Tracey didn’t have the capital on hand to increase production. He came to SmartBiz for a low-cost SBA loan and a successful holiday season followed.
3) Do you have trained employees in place to handle an increase in business?
If you launch successful advertising and marketing programs, the phone could start ringing and your website pinging. Before you scale, you’ll need to have a team in place that can handle a spike in business. Entrepreneur has good advise if you plan to hire in-house employees: 6 Ways to Hire the Talent You Need to Scale Quickly. If you don’t want to bring on full time help, you can find skilled, experienced freelance or contract workers.
4) How is your credit rating?
Purchasing inventory, adding employees, buying new equipment or upgrading your infrastructure comes at a price. Do you have funds you need to cover the additional costs while scaling? Having a good credit rating generally means you can qualify for low-rate funds with a long term. Credit cards or other expensive options can provide fast funding but the expense of those funds can hurt you down the line. For sustainable growth, strive to keep your credit scores high so you can qualify for a small business loan with the lowest rate and the longest terms.
5) Do you need a small business loan to fuel growth?
If you’re ready to scale, your business is probably in excellent shape. That means you can qualify for low-cost funds like an SBA loan. It might sound crazy to take on debt to grow. However, using funds in a smart way can help you go to the next level. SmartBiz facilitates SBA loans, generally seen as the “gold standard” for small business funding. Proceeds from an SBA loan can be used to fund scaling strategies. SBA loans can even be used for an owner-occupied commercial real estate purchase so business owners can avoid expensive rental costs and build equity.
For more information, check out this blog post about the benefits of an SBA loan: How an SBA Loan Can Fuel Your Small Business
Do you need extra funds for your small business? An SBA loan is the best bet for small businesses with low rates, long terms and low monthly payments. Visit SmartBiz Loans® today and discover in about five minutes if you’re qualified to apply for an SBA loan with one of our bank partners.