Growing a business can be a difficult thing at the best of times. But with the UK’s business population decreasing by 6.5% in the last year, it could be harder than ever to know when is best to grow your company without risking missing the boat – or worse, bankruptcy. Here are five key indicators that your business is ready to expand.

You Have the Funds

Often you may find yourself poring over market indicators, looking for specific reasons to grow your business – perhaps even permission from the statistics. However, sometimes the biggest indicator is right under your nose, your business’ funds. This should be the first indicator that you’re ready to expand; having generated the money necessary to be able to do so. It is a sign you’re doing something right, and that it is the right time to expand your workforce, whether by opening new branches or expanding your current base of operations.

Your Staff are Making Moves

Another extremely important indicator lies within your office walls: your staff. Look out for signs that your staff are enduring particularly stressful workloads or accepting tasks larger than their remit. Are members of your workforce complaining of stress, or have you sustained a higher-than-average staff turnover in recent months? These could well demonstrate that your staff are over capacity, and that your company needs to invest in its growth – at the very least in terms of staffing.

This is dually important, both for the continued operation of your business as it stands, and for the retention of your most valuable, experienced, and skilled staff in the event of expanding your services or product base. One such growth investment might be the use of HR management software to ensure your staff are correctly looked after.

You Have the Interest of Investors

If your business has received interest from investors outside of your current network, this can be a sure-fire sign that your company is in a good place to grow. Investors do not put-up money for businesses in which they do not see potential, and will also have their own team investigating your business’ growth opportunities. You do not have to accept every investment offer that comes your way, but their existence alone is proof you are doing something right.

You Have Identified Demand

Your business would not already be thriving were it not for demand for your services – but noticing changes to patterns in demand can be crucial for understanding when it is time to expand your operations. One particularly tell-tale sign is the growth of demand in areas you do not usually sell; examining demographic information from your sales and clients could show you new areas in the market, where your business may benefit increasing its profile. These new clients are the first step in a process, followed undertaking in-depth market analysis to understand exactly where your business could expand into.

Your Industry is Growing

Lastly, a definitive way to know your business can afford to grow is in observing the growth of your business’ industry at large. If you see competitors themselves investing in expansion, or evidence in the stock market of similar listed companies increasing their value, you yourself could also benefit from this upturn in the market. With an exact understanding of how the market itself is growing, you can implement your own growth strategies to make the most of this growth – though if the first you know if this upturn in your industry is via the stock market, it could be too late for you to capitalise properly.