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Dos and Don’ts of Opening a New Branch

– Contributed content –

Shop open sign

(StockSnap, Pixabay)

15 Mar. 2019. When a business is doing well, its owner’s minds usually turn to expansion. The extra profits that the company has been bringing in during its profitable period can help to fund opening a new store or branch, which might have otherwise been too expensive to do. Once this extra branch is open, it will provide the business with another stream of income, ensuring that its finances become very stable.

However, that’s not all it will take to open a new branch or store. There’s a lot more hard work that needs to go in behind the scenes. In fact, it needs a lot of focus and attention from a business owner, or it could risk being a big failure. To ensure that doesn’t happen to you, here are a few dos and don’ts that you need to follow in order for your brand new branch to be a big success.

Do research the optimum location

One of the first things any entrepreneur wishing to expand his or her business must think about is the best location for their second branch. If you are opening a shop or store and will be dependent on a large amount of customers coming to you, then you will need to make sure it is somewhere which will see a lot of footfall. If there aren’t that many people walking past the new location regularly, then you will have to put in a lot of extra effort with your marketing to make sure that people hear about you. As well as that, it’s also worth being in a location that has some good public transport links and isn’t too close to your competitors.

Don’t forget to put some objectives in place

You shouldn’t just open a new branch without understanding why it would be beneficial for you to do so. To figure out why you should open a second location, and to make sure that it helps you achieve your business goals, it’s worth writing down a few objectives for the launch. Having these goals clear in your mind can help you keep on track of everything that needs to be done as well. It’s worth publishing these launch objective somewhere that all your high-level management can access them so that everyone is one the same page with the launch.

Do step up your recruitment efforts

There’s a good chance that you will need to hire some new staff to man this second branch location. If that is the case, it’s worth starting the recruitment process as early as possible so that you get enough new hires ready to start on launch day. Don’t forget that you might need to prepare these new employees with some training as well. That will be especially the case if they have never worked in any customer-facing roles before. All of this training will need to be completed before the launch of your new store so that this new team are all happy in their roles.

Don’t keep things quiet on social media

You will want to get all your loyal customers very excited about the prospect of a new branch opening. So, you shouldn’t stay quiet about expanding the business, otherwise hardly anyone will find out about it. The best way to ensure that as many people find out about your big launch as soon as possible is to be very vocal about it on social media. Once you’ve set your launch date, make sure you are tweeting and Facebooking about it as soon as you can. And then you can ensure that the big opening day will be a very well-attended event indeed.

Do plan a launch event

It is really worth planning a launch event for your new branch. Some entrepreneurs don’t do this as they believe it will cost them a lot, but there are ways you can do it as cheaply as possible. For instance, you might just want to create a big buzz around the very first day it will be open so that you get as many people in there as possible. Don’t forget to buy a banner for your store that can go outside the main entrance. This will catch the attention of passersby, and they will be a lot more likely to come over to your store to check out what is going on.

Don’t neglect your cash flow

One thing to keep a close eye on when you are opening a second location is your company’s overall cash flow. It will take time for your new location to start generating a profit. In some cases, it could take up to a year. So, you need to take this into consideration as it could really affect your whole business’s cash flow. If your first location isn’t generating enough to create a profit that will be able to sustain two locations, you need to take this into consideration. It might be necessary to find some extra investment to tie you over until your new branch becomes profitable.

Do establish consistent workflows between branches

When you are in the process of setting up a new branch, you need to make sure that all of the processes and workflows are consistent between both locations. This will then ensure it’s easy to staff to transfer between each other. Not only that, though, but it makes it easier to create a consistent customer experience in both branches as well.

Don’t start your marketing efforts too late

You will need to do some extra marketing for your new branch. Don’t wait too long to do this or else it could really undermine your whole launch. Ideally, you need to start marketing for the big launch as soon as announce that it is happening. But, of course, you need to be ready to hit the ground rolling, so you should ideally have been planning your marketing for a few months prior to the announcement.

If you follow all of these dos and don’ts, then your new branch should open to quite a bit of fanfare.

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