In an ever competitive business world for an entrepreneur the thought of reaching a point of expanding your market can be exciting and scary at the same time. There is a lot more to it than just announcing that your products will be available in a new area. The preparation for expansion is just as important as the execution of the plan to ensure that the business remains successful.
Code Blue is a business based in Holland, Michigan that specializes in the manufacturing of interactive security devices. These devices are the wall-mounted compact emergency communication boxes for use in buildings, parking garages and other structures as well as the stand-alone 9-foot towers that can be found in parks, along walking trails and on hospital and college campuses. Code Blue recently announced they are expanding sales internationally from South America to the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
Not only does such a move require Code Blue to build an infrastructure in those countries that would include sales, installation and maintenance teams as well as professional services like local business attorneys and accountants; but Code Blue also needs to figure out the logistics of getting these Michigan-made products to those countries. Code Blue has announced that it expects a 15 percent increase in sales this year and 25 percent next year because of the move. That also means big changes here locally too. Code Blue needs to manufacture more products which is going to entail moving to a bigger facility, hiring more employees, and bringing in more materials. The coordination for this expansion is more work than getting the business started.
Expanding your business carries a risk with it. There is a lot of time, energy and money involved with such a decision. Not only can the investment in the expansion be lost but the financial strain can harm the business that exists currently. The potential reward for expanding can be well worth it though. A 40 percent increase in sales over 2 years for an established company is a huge boost. In the end, expanding your small business from a single local location to multiple locations or expanding into other states or going international is not something to be entered into lightly. Being able to see the big picture and see potential issues can be vital to the success or failure of such a big decision.
Source: “Holland's Code Blue goes international with rugged security products” by Myron Kukla of the Grand Rapids Press