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Month: March 2010

Evaluating Business Expansion

“Is Business Expansion for You?”
Is business expansion for you?

How do we hold on to our good employees during this economic down turn? We have spent time and energy training them. More importantly they have become part of our business family and we care about them.
Developing new ventures can be a good option, which brings to mind a conversation I had with a friend a couple of weeks ago. This friend owns an equipment dealership. He is still doing some repair work, but sales are dead.
When my friend evaluated his community he recognized a couple of unmet needs that he could address with his business, which would mean extra work for employees. The friend and his wife took the ideas to the Lord and asked for wisdom. The couple received quick confirmation on one, but were still unsure about the other, which prompted the call to me.
As we discussed this new business venture we reviewed the biblical benchmarks for starting and growing a business.

  1. The business meets a valid need.
  2. The expansion will allow you to keep your priorities in order:
    God – Spouse – Family – Business & Ministry
  3. The expansion will not cause you to violate biblical principles.
  4. You and your spouse agree it is a good idea.
  5. Do we have what it takes to expand:
    Finances – Processes – People – Time

As we ended our discussion I was reminded of another critical element. I asked if he had a passion for this new business. The answer was no, which still didn’t rule out the new business venture, but raised a caution flag. If we don’t have a passion for the business, it can quickly become a drudgery. Most of us could grit it out for a couple of years to help make ends meet, but for the long run this will not be a viable business. Understanding this dynamic should help us use caution in putting too much capital into such a venture. Exiting a venture can be a very expensive and time consuming event, and we need to count the cost before we proceed.