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As a proud small business owner, you’ve established your business, taken the time to build your finances and discovered what has worked and what has not.

Now, you are ready to move to the next phase of small business ownership – business expansion and growing your profitability. As a leading small business lender, our business bankers can offer helpful advice on creating your business case and ironing out the details of your business growth strategy.

Although you learned a lot when you started your business, growing and funding an existing business is a slightly different experience than financing a start-up. Read how to grow your business with these simple but essential steps in your small business ownership journey.

Small Business Expansion

There are several ways to expand a business. You may be looking to launch a new product or service, expand to a new location, merge or acquire a business, ramp up production, franchise, hire new employees, streamline your processes, license your products, or move into new markets. You can also expand your business through marketing strategies like aligning yourself with a similar business, increasing marketing efforts, building your online presence, targeting new markets, or winning a marketing contract. Your next big step could involve several of these strategies. With several business growth strategies, you’ll want to ensure your business can withstand this expansion and make the right moves.

Seek Business Advice & Do Your Research

Before you embark upon your business growth strategy, you may want to seek advice from a trusted business counselor and/or First American business banker. The Small Business Administration has a number of free resources available to small business owners through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network.

With the help of a business banker from First American Bank, you can discover what growth strategies suit the vision for your growing business and get insight into how to present your business case when seeking funding. Our business bankers are deeply rooted in their communities and can direct you to other professionals that may offer additional guidance. They’ve also worked with many business owners across a wide variety of industries and can give you a realistic outlook of the state of the local economy.

Before you move your business forward, take time to assess the past and current business climate. Timing is everything in business, so if you’re planning to launch a new product line or service or expand into new markets, do your research to ensure that there’s enough demand before investing precious resources.

Update Your Business Plan

Return to the business plan you used to start your small business and update it to project future growth. If you’re looking to scale your business, hire more staff or streamline your processes, you should iron out your current model to make sure you can grow steadily without sacrificing quality of your core business. Once you’ve worked out the details, update your business plan and outline your business expansion plan.

Update or Develop a Marketing Plan

Once you’ve figured out your business expansion plan, you’ll want to consider updating or developing a formal marketing strategy. Growing your business will involve new internal and external audiences as well as stakeholders. Outlining how you’ll communicate with these new audiences, both online and offline, is necessary when any change is upon a business, especially a small business. Investing the time and money in developing a scheduled marketing plan, with a dedicated budget, is wise. Focus your marketing efforts on the tactics that deliver the highest return on investment (ROI) and align best with your brand image. You can also run this by your business counselor and banker for objective feedback.

Seek Financing to Expand Your Business

When you are ready to grow your business and have developed and reviewed your business and marketing plans, a First American business banker can help you understand your financing options. Depending on your purpose for expanding your small business, you can look into applying for a working capital loan, short term or long-term business loan, real estate acquisition and development loans, commercial real estate loans, credit cards, and other small business lending options.

Trust First American Bank to find the proper financial solutions and resources to help you grow your business. We are experienced at helping small businesses grow and thrive. Learn more about SBA loans and other business financing resources.

Contact us today to get talking about growing your business in Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida and beyond.