Building a successful business in one state is great, but what about when it’s time to expand across the States? Before providing your products or services in another state, you’ll need to consider several things, which we’ve outlined below.
Naturally, expanding your business will cost money, so you need to have a good idea of how much you’ll need. To do this, you’ll need to factor in hiring costs, opening a new retail/office space, logistics, and marketing.
While you’re costing each area, you should search for ways to save money. For example, let’s say you’re expanding into Texas and want to set up a shop in Dallas – will you need a physical space or will a virtual Mailbox in Dallas, TX do the trick? This way, customers will believe you’re in Dallas because you have a postal address, but you can pick up the mail from anywhere.
Before laying down roots in a new state, it’s important to make sure there’s enough demand. Spend time researching the market and paying special attention to the demographic and growth potential. A great place to start with this is the U.S. Small Business Administration, which can offer insights into entrepreneurship, job growth, GDP, and other important factors.
You will have already established an effective company culture in your origin state, so you need to consider how expansion across the states will impact this. For example, will the move mean a shift in communication? Will your values be compromised? Will there still be a fine work/life balance? If you’ve got existing employees that have relocated, you can talk to them about how your current culture will align with the new state.
Resources and Talent
If you’ve found that a state captures your ideal market perfectly, that’s great, but is there enough scope to source talent and resources in the area? For example, will there be suitable vendors to supply your market? The best way to learn about a state’s resources and talent is to contact its workforce/economic development department.
Every state has to conform to federal regulations, so nothing will change in this regard. However, each state also has rules and regulations for businesses, so you will need to gain a thorough understanding of these before you attempt to expand. A great place to look for this information is the Department of Commerce (DOC) website.
A Detailed Plan
Once you’ve spent time researching the new state and determined that your business will thrive there, it’s time to write up an effective expansion plan. Just like your initial business plan, this document needs to contain your goals, milestones, and strategies.
Expanding across the States is a great way to reach new markets, but such a move needs to be given considerable thought, and a thorough plan needs to be in place first. Without spending time on research and planning, you’ll come across roadblocks and end up wasting money.