Is your restaurant/retail location big enough to open a second location? Here is some advice to consider before you commit to an expansion:
- Do your research. Does it make more sense for you to open a chain or a franchise?
- Make sure all the kinks are worked out with your first business. If you’re still having significant issues, it’s probably not the right time to expand.
- Treat the second location as a first location. There are still lots of unknowns such as insurance provisions, zoning, and finding the right employees. Don’t take for granted that because your first location was successful, your second one automatically will be too.
- Study the market. If your business will fulfill a market need, then move quickly. But make sure the need indeed exists; otherwise you’ll have an empty store due to lack of demand or too much competition.
- Have a strong marketing plan. It’s important to remember what worked and what didn’t the first time around — and adjust accordingly.
- Don’t forget where you came from. Although it may be tempting to spend all your time at the new location, you shouldn’t neglect your first store. In fact, if you’re unfamiliar with the area your new store is in, it may be best to hire a new manager who is privy to the local market.
- Consider some diversity between the two stores. Including different menu items or a new section of clothing at your second location can expand your customer base.
- Explore your funding options. Consider other services such as Marlin’s Funding Stream, which provides many entrepreneurs working capital within 24 hours.
- Consider your personal life. Are you thinking of moving, considering/about to have kids, going through a stressful time? You need to be able to fully commit yourself to this new endeavor, which will be very time-consuming, or your business will suffer.