Over the past few years, global e-commerce sales reached an excess of $25 trillion, according to estimates released by the United Nation’s Trade and Development Body (UNCTAD).
In order to remain relevant in a highly lucrative and very competitive environment, many small digital business owners are looking to expand their operations.
Despite business expansions being very beneficial, for the most part, there are various factors that need to be considered.
Apart from having to employ additional staff, the continuous setting of realistic goals and the upkeep of an effective IT infrastructure is off of great importance.
Prepare to take on additional staff
As your digital business continues to expand you will more than likely find yourself in need of additional staff.
Depending on the tasks that you need to be performed you can either employ full-time workers or freelancers.
While freelancers are typically ideal for remote work such as content creations and social media management, your business may benefit from having staff on-site to help with specific tasks.
It is important to always follow legal protocol when appointing new staff members.
This commences from the moment you place an advert for a job vacancy to the day someone is no longer employed by you.
In addition to the insurance cover you already have, you will have to register for workers compensation insurance, which can protect both your business and your employees against workplace-related injuries.
Apart from shielding your business against lawsuits and costly medical expenses, an injured employee will be eligible for the medical care stemming from an injury in the workplace.
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Continue to set realistic goals for yourself
When your business starts to expand it may be tempting to set unrealistic goals for yourself. Although it is vital to readjust your goals, it should always be done with the current state of your business in mind.
Unfortunately, the chances of your turnover doubling the moment you expand are very unlikely. It is also not in anyone’s best interest if you try to expand too much, too fast.
Instead, plan your expansion from a one-man operation to a larger business carefully.
Once your initial expansion is finalized you can start thinking about adjusting your goals and fine-tuning your marketing strategy accordingly.
By taking a closer look at your historic year-over-year data you will be able to establish a fair growth metric.
Examine your IT infrastructure
The expansion of a digital business relies heavily on the existing IT infrastructure. As your business expands, the traffic to your site will increase exponentially.
It is imperative to ensure that your site can handle these traffic spikes and that the user experience is not compromised in any way.
A recent survey has found that 47% of users expect a loading time of no longer than two seconds when visiting a website.
If your site takes too long to load, chances are the consumer will be lost to a competitor.
Other areas to reassess include your checkout process as a business expansion will, hopefully, result in larger a larger checkout volume to contend with.
Offering additional payout options is also an effective way to help attract and retain customers. If your current IT system cannot handle the increased activity, it may be necessary to invest in some updated technologies.
Expanding your digital business can prove to be a very lucrative endeavor.
As long as you give careful consideration to all the important factors, growing from a small one-man operation into a large business does not have to be a cause for panic.