Expanding your business is exciting. It means growth and new opportunities, and is likely something you have wanted to do for a long time. However, it’s not something to do lightly. You need to give yourself the best chance of success, and that means careful planning and preparation. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key things you need to think about before expanding your business, and how to maximise your chances of success.


Is your business ready to expand

It sounds obvious, but you need to make sure that you have got good foundations in place before you start:

  • Have you documented your processes. This isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to do, but process documentation is increasingly important as you grow. You want to make sure that new employees can hit the ground running, and that everyone in the team understands the right way to get things done.
  • Is your accounting software working well for you. We’re biased but we think this is one of the really critical things to get right! Your accounting software needs to be your single source of truth, and if you can’t get an accurate picture of your finances quickly and easily BEFORE you expand you will be flying blind. If you aren’t sure then we recommend getting a healthcheck done first.
  • Have you got the right advisors in place to support your growth. You need to make sure you have got the right people in your corner. Someone you trust on the end of the phone (or the other side of a video call) who understands your business and your plans. Have a chat with them about what you are thinking of doing before you start.


Do you need to obtain funding

Expanding your business often needs a financial investment. You need to ensure that your current financial situation is stable enough to support this growth. This means having enough cash flow, securing funding if necessary, and having a clear budget for the expansion. Look at your financial statements, cash reserves, and potential sources of funding such as loans, investors, or grants. You need to have a realistic projection of the costs involved and how long it will take for the expansion to become profitable.

Interest rates are higher than they have been in recent years, and banks are much more cautious about lending. You may be better off going down a less traditional route. There are some good options out there that don’t involve borrowing from a high street bank. Either way you will need to make sure that your accounts are in good shape, and that you have a well thought out plan and cash flow forecast.


Write a business plan

If you are applying for funding you will likely be asked to provide a detailed business plan. We recommend writing one even if you don’t need external funding. A good business plan acts like a roadmap, helping you to stay focused on your what you are trying to achieve. Some of the key areas you should cover are:

  • Market research. Study the market, target customers, and competitors.
  • Financial plan. Estimate future revenue, expenses, and cash flow, and budget for costs like marketing, equipment, and hiring.
  • Operations plan. Go through the changes needed for expansion, like your supply chain and staffing, and new technology.
  • Marketing strategy. Create a marketing plan to support your expansion.
  • Risk management. What are the possible risks and challenges of expanding? Do you have backup plans?


Don’t let overwhelm stop you from writing a business plan. This is one of the areas where we can help, particularly making sure that the financial plan hangs together.


Technology and systems

Having the right tech stack could mean the difference between success and failure. Xero ensures your financial operations can scale smoothly, enhancing efficiency, and supporting better decision-making. The right technology can automate routine tasks, streamline communication, and provide real-time data insights. Make sure you check that your technology all plays together nicely – this might involve building custom integrations, or looking for alternative apps that have better integrations available.


Getting professional advice

Expanding a business is a complex process that involves many moving parts. Getting the right advice at the right time will make a big difference. At Starfish Accounting, we can help you navigate the financial and operational challenges of expansion. From financial planning, help with funding, and cash flow management we can provide the guidance you need to grow your business successfully. We’re here to help you every step of the way.