If you’ve established a successful small business in your home town, you’re likely to be in one of two mindsets. It’s possible that you’re feeling contended and comfortable. Secure in the knowledge that you’re a  big fish in a small pond, you bask in your own success, keeping an eye on things to ensure that your upwards trajectory continues.

Alternatively, you could be filled once more with the motivation that initially drove you to enter the small business world. While you’re pleased with your local success, you want more. You want to avoid complacency, and you want to undertake expansion. If you’re from Sydney, chances are you’ll start eyeing up one of the other major markets in Australia: Brisbane, Melbourne, or Perth. Before you can enter a new competitive fray, though, it’s important to put some feelers out.

Finding an office

Unless you plan to conduct business remotely via internet, you’ll need a physical space from which to work in your new stomping ground. Think about the specifications you’ll require in terms of space, location, parking and other facilities. If you’re totally unfamiliar with the geographic layout of the market you’re planning to enter, consult a friend who is. If no such friend is  forthcoming, a real estate agent will do. Expansion has to be physical, as well as business-oriented (and hopefully financial).

Leveraging existing clients

To gain a foothold in the market – especially somewhere as competitive as Melbourne, for example – you’ll need to utilise any existing connections. Perhaps your Sydney client also has an office further south that could benefit from your expertise when you’ve undertaken your expansion. If you ask around, you’re sure to find a lead or two.

expanding-australiaOnce you gain the contacts you need, begin reaching out to them. Initially, a few phone calls and emails might suffice, but at some point you’ll need to meet face-to-face to secure their business. Without clients locked in, your expansion could prove disastrous. These initial meetings, then, are likely to prove influential. To ensure your meet-and-greets exude professionalism, undertake them in a professional setting. Hire a meeting room in Melbourne for a few days, and meet with your potential new clients to explain your vision, drive, and credentials.  Traveling to your new base of operations will also serve as a reconnaissance mission of sorts.

Finding staff

It’s never a good idea to sever ties with what brought you initial success. If Britney Spears declared that she hated ‘…Baby One More Time’, you can be sure that her fans would be livid. The same principle applies to the business that gave you the means to expand. Keeping your base office running will provide a safety net of sorts, as well as a source of income while you find your feet with this new, challenging expansion.

That means that your expansion will hinge on acquiring new staff. Sourcing them from the city you’re expanding to – say Melbourne – will bring lucrative local knowledge. And just like with potential new clients, you should ensure that expectations of professional conduct are apparent from the get-go, by hiring a meeting rooms in Melbourne from which to interview job applicants. Conference centres like etherconferencecentre.com.au will help pique the interest of your prospective new stakeholders due to a great reputation. Getting the right people on board will give your expansion further momentum, and could help you avoid a few newbie pitfalls.

Once you’ve got the office, the clients, and the staff, you’re ready to commence operations. Your excitement and motivation, combined with proven past success, will help to give you a great new start. Be careful to remember your roots, though. Your first small business success should retain a special place in your heart; a first-born scorned is a force to be reckoned with.

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