6 ways to tell it's time for a second location.
So, you're ready to grow. That's some pretty awesome news and, while it can be daunting to approach the process of starting again, Mainvest is here to help guide you through the process. Before we jump in, remember that the moment at which you'll determine when it's time to expand will vary for every single business reading this. That being said, we've compiled some guiding principles that can help lead your decision-making process. Here are 5 common reasons small business owners decide to open a second location:
1. You're busy... too busy.
This is a great problem to have but sometimes it can be overwhelming when you're slammed 24/7/365. Unfortunately, when businesses are too busy, quality can drastically decrease. And the last thing you want is to lose loyal customers because your quality is decreasing as your popularity increases.
2. Your space is too small to handle the crowd.
Going along with the first problem, limited space can limit your potential. Instead of scrapping your first location (and potentially losing customers in the area or in the transitionary period), adding a new location in a new area with more space can be a great way to grow.
3. You have a good amount of customers coming from other cities.
Ever have a customer tell you how far they travelled to visit? Or say they wish they had a location closer to them? Better yet, have more than one customer saying these things? Well, it might be time to listen. Customers are a great indicator of where your business could be a success. So we suggest you start listening to them sooner rather than later.
Take a look at Mainvest alumni business Lovebirds Donuts for example. Located in the small town of Kittery, Maine in a location accessible only by car, the vegan donut shop was much more of a success than the owners could have ever predicted. Fast forward two years and fans from the nearby town of Portsmouth, NH made it known that they could have a loyal customer base if they opened up shop in the bustling downtown area. So, with the help of Mainvest, Lovebirds listened and are on track to open up a second shop on a pedestrian-only street in Portsmouth.
4. You could increase revenue.
Let's be honest - at the end of the day, money matters. And if by opening a second location you could increase revenue, it should motivate you to get going! Many small businesses turn to new locations in hot spot areas to drive growth in capital. Restaurants need more seats to serve the demand, cafes try new locations around an area to serve customers in new neighborhoods, bakeries utilize larger spaces in cheaper rent areas to produce their goods and sell to consumers at shops in higher foot traffic areas. The possibilities are endless so get thinking!
5. You want to try a new concept.
While a little riskier, if you have another concept you have been wanting to try out and business is steady enough at your first location to sustain a new venture, it might be time to run with that idea. This is especially applicable if your first business has been a success and this new concept draws on its most popular aspects while making improvements on the others. This could even be a pivot - say your first location is a takeaway spot and this new location includes seating. Or maybe your original business is an upscale concept and you want to dress it down with a new location that is more casual. The possibilities are endless.
6. You’re looking for a way to involve the community in your business.
Yep, believe it or not, some people expand their businesses to satisfy the community they are already a part of. So what better way to do that by utilizing capital supported wholly by your loyal customers? Mainvest is a regulation crowdfunding platform that allows small businesses to get capital from their community to expand or grow their business. By utilizing revenue sharing notes (RSN), a debt-based investment vehicle in which a company borrows money from investors and agrees to pay back a certain percent of any revenue it may generate every quarter until all principal and interest is repaid, small business owners using Mainvest have the ability to enable their loyal customers to share in their successes.
Written by Lauren Murdock
Lauren is Mainvest's Content Marketing Manager. She is an expert in marketing strategy and leads content generation for Mainvest.