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What to Know Before You Grow

Expanding a company can bring excitement and uncertainty. A detailed business plan and comprehensive due diligence will be integral in determining if the time is right to expand. For any business that desires to grow operations, here are some important factors to consider and questions to ask yourself and your advisors as you formulate your strategy.

What to know before you grow
  • Stability and consistency are key. Does your business have a sustained run of success in different economic climates, or is your strong performance more recent? Lenders will closely examine historical financial performance and how that may correlate to future success.
  • Know the competitive landscape. Ensure you have conducted thorough market research and analysis to understand the existing challenges and opportunities associated with the markets and/or products and services you are adding.
  • Explore financing options. Your company’s performance, existing debt and term requirements can determine the various traditional and alternative forms of financing that may be available to you. The more detailed your business plan, the better prepared your banker will be to assist you in designing and securing an appropriate financing package. See “Enable Growth by Borrowing the Right Way” on page 8 for more on financing strategies to support expansion.
  • Understand the impact of changes in ownership structure. Adding partners can be an option for injecting equity into your company, but also may come with different legal and tax implications. Be sure you fully understand those elements before finalizing any changes.
  • Unlock value in your assets. Depending on your industry, leasing can be an effective way to free up working capital while maintaining access to the equipment you need. Learn more about FNB’s equipment financing solutions at
  • Anticipate additional expenses and time. Compensation and benefits packages for new staff to accommodate growth, as well as the additional equipment and resources that might be required when adding new services, can substantially impact your bottom line. Also consider the money and time that will be spent acquiring new customers and building new business relationships. If you are moving to a new space or building a new facility, account for potential construction delays or unforeseen issues that could arise during a renovation.
  • Maintain cash flow. Interruptions to your regular business activity could impact revenue and slow or halt expansion efforts. Develop a plan that specifically addresses how your current operations will continue in conjunction with your growth tactics.
  • Minimize client disruption. Eroding the confidence of your current customer base could be detrimental to your long-term success. Maintaining customer loyalty is critical for your revenue stream and for successfully introducing your business to new clients, customers and markets. To support existing staff, you will need a well-thought-out plan for prioritizing growth efforts along with daily responsibilities to ensure your business can operate without issue.
  • Evaluate vendor and partner relationships. If your external partners do not have the capacity to meet your expanded needs, now is the time to begin exploring new or additional partnerships so that you have the necessary resources available at the appropriate time.
  • Manage your corporate culture. Keep your company culture top of mind with a plan to build and maintain your employee experience. Consider how new employees, especially a substantial number joining in a short period of time, can impact your internal culture and overall workplace environment. 

Having a trusted team that includes your banker, attorney and accountant is vital in helping you navigate expansion and successfully grow the business you have worked so hard to build. At FNB, our diversified lines of business and local bankers have the knowledge and expertise to help you and your company take the next step.

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