Are you ready to take your design business to the next level? If you design or build household and commercial furnishings and decor, going national is the surest sign of success. But, moving into the upper echelons of this competitive field means new responsibilities and attitudes. Selling to retail chains instead of directly to end-users is the first hurdle. Finding the right delivery solution is also near the top of your fresh priority list. Getting the right financial team together is a third component of your growing company’s organizational chart. What are the most common challenges you’re apt to run into when you take a once modest furniture and decor startup onto the national, or even international scene? Here’s a short list of what’s in store for you, and how most owners deal with each task.
A larger geographic market means the need for top notch transportation and delivery management. Your goods are no longer local items that homeowners and small business managers can pick up at your factory. Now, you face the prospect of building your own delivery fleet, even if your expansion only includes a few states or regions. The good news is that creating fleet management systems is a skill you can learn quickly, as long as you have the right resources. For example, you can get started by reviewing on online guide that includes everything you need to know about fleet management, along with how to find drivers, purchase the right vehicles, select effective fleet management systems, and more.
If you felt the need to expand your geographic boundaries, chances are that you acquired at least a few new customers who were far outside the current area of operation. That’s a good first step. The trick is to duplicate the effort and continue adding more new clients to your roster within the now-expanded zone. Unless you already have an in with a major retail chain or a series of commercial clients, get ready to boost the advertising and marketing budget. No matter how skilled you are at producing top notch interior goods, you need to find a regional marketing firm that can target new advertising, specialized campaigns, and promotions for the area you serve. Some ad agencies specialize in this type of work, so be sure to tap into your network and locate one that has an excellent reputation and fees you can afford.
Ask yourself if business doubles between now and next year, do you have the production capacity to meet demand? Don’t make the mistake to waiting for sales to ramp up. The fact that you expanded from a one-city operation to a regional or national one is enough a hint that now is the time to plan for higher production levels. In many cases, additional production means hiring more people, investing in machinery, finding a larger facility, adding insurance coverage, building an in-house IT department that can handle customer service management, getting expert legal and tax advice, and more. Growth is usually a good thing, as long as you plan for it and know what to expect.