Essential Checklist for Hiring a Business Broker

Business Broker

If you feel the time has come to sell your business, hiring a business broker is your best chance of securing a beneficial, safe, and fair deal. The right business broker will handle all the transaction details and ensure to properly represent your best interests. 

This article will be helpful to any business owner who is considering selling their company with the broker’s assistance. 

Read on to discover the questions to ask your prospective business broker.

 

1. What is the Broker’s Past Experience?

The first thing to review before hiring a broker is checking their prior experience selling a business similar to yours. 

Of course, your perfect broker’s portfolio doesn’t need to perfectly match your business. However, you’re off to a good start if the broker worked for companies with identical business models and target buyers. 

Hiring a broker with no experience selling a business such as yours will waste valuable time better spent prospecting and negotiating.

 

2. How Many Businesses (Such as Yours) Does the Broker Sell Yearly?

Numbers vary depending on the city, industry, business size, etc., so it’s best to ask several brokerage businesses this question and calculate the average on your own.

Besides finding the broker that matches your industry, it is essential to ask if they have sold any businesses of your size. Selling a $1 million company and a $50 million one is entirely different, so if the business broker hasn’t sold a business similar in size to yours, keep searching until you find a brokerage with the right experience.

 

3. How Will the Broker Value Your Business?

Good brokers understand that evaluating a business is quite complex, and no single formula applies to every company. Thus, asking a business broker how they value a company is a good indicator of their experience.

Business valuation is a complex subject, so steer clear from hiring brokers that use a generic valuation formula. Instead, work with brokers who have the experience and take their time to conduct a thorough, accurate valuation.

 

4. How Will the Broker Manage Your Confidentiality?

During the process of selling a business, it’s crucial to maintain the confidentiality of all parties involved. You don’t want sensitive business information leaking, and nor does the potential buyer. 

Besides, if word gets around about your impending sale, customers may think there’s a problem and stop buying from you, whereas employees may question their job stability and seek employment elsewhere.  

Thus, when selling your business, it is important that you hire a business brokerage that has security protocols in place to protect your confidentiality. 

 

5. What do Others Say About the Broker?

Research the experiences of your broker’s past clients to uncover what business owners such as you had to say. When searching for broker reviews, read through the reviews from company sellers and buyers to assure both sides were satisfied with the outcome.

Before officially hiring your business broker, ensure they have a considerable number of positive reviews.

 

6. How do the Broker’s Opinions and Values Align with Yours?

Of course, you need not be very good friends to do business successfully with someone. However, you are probably going to work closely with your broker for a vast period of time. 

Moreover, the broker will represent your business among potential buyers, so it’s essential you choose someone who embodies your brand values.

Therefore, it is important to ensure you feel comfortable working, communicating, and sharing sensitive information with your broker.

 

7. What Else Can the Broker Offer to You?

Before committing to a brokerage, investigate what their services entail. For example, at Triad Securities, their trade service includes various other elements to help reduce friction in your trading activity.

Triad trade execution services offer extended electronic trading, multiple algorithmic suites, trading with multiple asset classes in the U.S. and internationally, and outsourced trading and back-office services.

 

8. When Does the Broker Expect to Close the Transaction?

According to BizBuySell research, nearly half of business owners surveyed believed the selling process would take less than five months. Yet, the 2018 Q4 IBBA MarketPulse report found that the average time to close the transaction of selling a business is over nine months.

Of course, there are numerous strategies brokers may use to speed up that timeline, but the length of the selling process depends on many other factors, such as your industry, company size, net worth, buying conditions, etc. 

Even the most experienced brokers cannot affect all these conditions, but the best you can do is hire someone who is reliable, experienced, and transparent with you.

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A Guide to the Benefits of Third-Party Logisitics (3PL)

Third-Party Logistics

Order fulfillment is a critical component of running an online ecommerce business. As your firm expands, you may discover that delivering client orders in-house becomes impractical. That is when third-party logistics services come in handy!

 

What are third-party logistics service providers (3PLs)?

Third-party logistics (or 3PL) refers to the outsourcing of ecommerce logistics procedures, such as inventory management, storage, and fulfillment, to a third-party enterprise. With the tools and infrastructure necessary to automate retail order fulfillment, 3PL providers enable ecommerce retailers to do more.

With the introduction and growth of ecommerce in the ‘90s and 2000s, the term 3PL has become ubiquitous, and 3PLs have expanded their services. The supply chain integration of warehousing operations and transportation services has become what we now call third-party logistics.

 

What are the advantages of partnering with a third-party logistics provider?

There are several advantages to outsourcing fulfillment to a third party logistics company like https://redstagfulfillment.com/3pl-definition-process-resources/. While each 3PL company has unique capabilities, all 3PLs offer solutions for inventory management, packing, and shipping, eventually delivering reliable logistics systems and assisting businesses in maximizing revenue.

 

1. Time and money savings

By partnering with a 3PL, you may avoid the costs associated with purchasing or renting warehouse space, logistical operations, manpower, and technology necessary for in-house fulfillment.

As your company scales, executing orders on your own gets increasingly costly. This includes warehouse space, forklifts and other equipment, warehouse management software (WMS), recruiting and personnel expenditures, workers compensation and liability insurance.

Additionally, you save time by outsourcing fulfillment chores to a third-party logistics provider. Rather than packaging boxes, standing in line at the post office, or constructing fulfillment infrastructure, partnering with a 3PL frees up your time to focus on more big-picture, strategic efforts such as product development, sales, and marketing.

 

2. Capitalize on industry experience

As an ecommerce professional, you probably lack the time necessary to become an expert in every aspect of your business including shipping and logistics. That’s where a 3PL comes in: staffed by ecommerce logistics experts, your 3PL will be aware and current on industry trends and intricacies – so you don’t have to be.

Additionally, 3PL firms have the technical expertise and partner network — which includes marketing agencies, bespoke packaging suppliers, shipping partners, and others — that enables them to continuously enhance supply chain efficiency and create supply chain optimizations to assist in driving ecommerce success.

 

3. Increase your reach

If you sell just in one region, you are severely restricting the reach of your company to grow and expand. Collaborating with a third-party logistics provider can help you increase your reach. 

3PL firms often have a vast network of fulfillment centers across the country. This is something that is hard to accomplish with just in-house efforts. A third-party logistics provider with fulfillment centers in key US cities around the country can assist you in reducing the cost of shipping and transit time for orders. Shipment of orders from a single location will take more time to get the product in your customers’ hands and will also result in higher postage costs for parcels traveling across various delivery zones. 

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Tips To Traveling In El Salvador Spending Only Bitcoin

Bitcoins stacked in front of the El Salvador flag

Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows for instant payments anywhere. That makes it the perfect money for travelers. We will discuss some tips for traveling in El Salvador while spending only Bitcoin.

 

1. Find a Place to Stay That Accepts Bitcoin

One of the first things you’ll need to do when planning a trip to El Salvador finds a place to stay. Luckily, a few businesses in El Salvador accept Bitcoin as payment.

Many hotels and AirBnBs accept Bitcoin as payment, such as Hotel La Posada Del Angel, Hostel Mundo Joven, and Casa Cuscatlan Boutique Hotel. You can pay for your accommodation using Bitcoin, which is excellent for those who want to avoid currency exchange fees.

If you’re looking for other accommodations, such as apartments or vacation rentals, check out websites like Airbnb and VRBO. These websites allow you to search for rental properties all over the world. Many property owners now accept Bitcoin as payment.

 

2. Look for a Bitcoin-Friendly Tour Company

If you’re looking to travel to El Salvador without spending any fiat currency, you’ll need to use a tour company that accepts Bitcoin as payment. Luckily, a few companies specialize in providing tours for those who want to spend their Bitcoin.

When traveling to a new country, it can be helpful to use the services of a tour company. It is especially true if you’re not familiar with the language or culture of the country you’re visiting. A few companies in El Salvador offer tours and accept payment by Bitcoin and other cryptos in the market. There are now many travel agencies that accept Bitcoin as payment. You can book your flights, hotels, and other travel arrangements using Bitcoin. It is a great way to use your Bitcoin while still getting the best possible deals on travel expenses.

 

3. Bitcoin-Friendly Transportation Service

There are now many different transportation services that accept Bitcoin as payment. You can take taxis, buses, or even trains while spending only Bitcoin.

 

4. Bitcoin-Friendly Food Delivery Service

If you don’t want to leave your hotel room or Airbnb, you can use a food delivery service that accepts Bitcoin as payment. It is a great way to get the food you want without spending any fiat currency.

 

5. Bitcoin-Friendly Supermarket

If you want to buy groceries while in El Salvador, you can use a Bitcoin-friendly supermarket. It is a great way to get the food and supplies you need without spending any fiat currency.

 

6. Use a Bitcoin-Friendly ATM

If you need to withdraw cash while in El Salvador, you can use a Bitcoin-friendly ATM. It is a great way to get the money you need without going through a traditional bank or currency exchange.

 

7. Use a Bitcoin-Friendly Phone Service

If you need to make calls while in El Salvador, you can use a Bitcoin-friendly phone service such as Bitrefill, FreedomPop, and Ultra Mobile. It is a great way to stay connected with friends and family without spending any fiat currency.

 

8. Use a Bitcoin-Friendly Internet Service

If you need to access the internet while in El Salvador, you can use a Bitcoin-friendly internet service. It is a great way to stay connected with friends and family without spending any fiat currency.

 

Conclusion

El Salvador is a great place to visit if you’re looking to spend your Bitcoin. Many different businesses accept Bitcoin as payment, so you’ll be able to use your Bitcoin to pay for everything from transportation to food delivery.

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Safety First!

Manuifacturing machines in a factory

The history of safety is one built on increasing standards for everyone. The team at Automa Safety have revolutionized the industry for people in Brazil, bringing higher standards for all. In the Latin and South America Business Awards 2021, the team were awarded the title of Best Machine & Equipment Security Solutions Provider – Brazil. We dig a little deeper to discover precisely how they’ve achieved such success.

In 2003, the team behind Automa Safety began the process of reinventing the way in which Brazilian business sees safety. For nearly 20 years, the team have been encouraging and empowering organizations to make proactive steps to secure the safety of their equipment, their staff and their customers. With a comprehensive range of services covering a host of different industries, it’s little wonder that they are not only in such high demand, but have achieved such incredible success.

When the team first opened the firm’s doors, the hope was that Automa Safety could become a national reference in the machine security market. Their efforts have been targeted at all times to eliminating any risk of accidents within the workplace, making companies aware of their responsibilities towards the implementation of a safe working environment. It’s environments where people feel safe that are able to grow in a way that is responsible and reliable.

Key to the team’s success, therefore, is an approach which champions quality above all else. For them, the most important thing is making sure that their client’s staff are always safe. Nothing can be allowed to compromise their physical or moral integrity. Whilst emergencies may occur, there’s no reason why sound health and safety protocols cannot ensure that people are safe no matter what.

To take care of people, they must have access to the highest quality of machinery. For the last 18 years, the team have been developing leading solutions in numerous industrial sectors to ensure that their clients maintain the highest possible standards. The vast majority of companies do not reach Brazilian Regulatory Norms, which is why approval from Automa Safety is not only a sign of quality, but a seal of approval when it comes to safety. Their work has provided several solutions such as risk assessments, machinery inventories and training to ensure people feel safe.

Since opening their doors, the Automa Safety team have grown into the largest organization serving the machine safety market. Their metallurgical factory is filled with state-of-the-art equipment to support the highly trained team. The incredible quality of the team’s work is why so many trust them to deliver such a high level of success.

Of course, it’s not just people that the team are concerned with. Automa Safety has made its name through considering the challenges facing the local environment too. Their Environmental Management System allows them to consistently measure and control environmental performance in order to prevent sudden environmental impacts. The team are constantly searching for technologies that will keep them competitive, both in terms of cost and environmental impact.

 The world must become a safer place, and key to that is companies such as Automa Safety raising standards across the board. The work of this talented team is crucial to creating environments where all can feel comfortable. It’s a credit to the team’s hard work and tremendous ability that they have achieved so much for the people of Brazil, and are certain to do so long into the future.

 

For business enquiries, contact Vladimir Kuse at Automa Safety via [email protected].

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5 Ways Small Manufacturing Businesses Can Save Money in the US

Factory worker using insudtry equitment in a manufactoring factory

Keeping your budget in check and making savings wherever possible is important if you run a business, and manufacturing firms have a particular need to minimize unnecessary expenses if they want to compete with the big players.

To that end, here are some tips and strategies for saving money as a small manufacturing firm in the US that will have a tangible impact on your bottom line.

 

Purchasing used machinery

An easy way to save thousands is to avoid ordering brand new equipment and instead make the switch to sourcing heavy duty gear from the second hand market.

Today it’s a breeze to find high quality items of all kinds, whether you need a used waterjet cutting machine, a lathe, a CNC mill, a 3D printer or anything in between.

Obviously, you need to be a bit more vigilant when buying second-hand manufacturing equipment, as things like maintenance and hours used will come into play in determining the value of a given unit. Even so, with a bit of research and the use of reputable machinery marketplaces, this will let you innovate and accelerate production without paying through the nose.

 

Digitizing key processes

Moving from analog to digital can turbo charge productivity and deliver a raft of other benefits as well, such as streamlining decision-making and lessening the likelihood of accidents occurring in a manufacturing environment.

There are a few options for digitization available to you, most of which focus on taking the use of physical paper documents out of the equation, and instead relying on their digital equivalents wherever possible.

From work instructions to customer invoices, going digital and kicking paper to the curb has myriad benefits, and is worth doing sooner rather than later.

 

Limiting waste

Material costs have risen rapidly in recent years, and so driving down waste on the production line can save money as well as time.

Focusing on refining your approach to quality control throughout every step of the process is important for this reason. The more attention to detail is given to quality, the fewer components and products will be rejected because of the presence of flaws.

Once again, digital tech rides to the rescue here, as you can implement all sorts of systems and solutions to manage QC in an automated way, easing pressure on your staffing resources and allowing you to be proactive in reducing material waste.

 

Embracing workplace safety

Cutting corners when it comes to safety is a false economy, as well as being ethically unsound as a practice. If employees are injured in the line of duty, they won’t be able to fulfill their roles, and you’ll have to pay to find replacements, which is tricky if there is a shortage of skilled workers with their particular training and experience.

Conversely, if you are up to speed with the latest health and safety guidelines and regulations, you will be able to manage your manufacturing operations with a view to keeping every person well protected while they are on site.

Providing adequate training to employees that have direct use of heavy machinery is part of this, but you also need to equip them with the right protective gear in hazardous scenarios, as well as making sure that they have enough time in the day to hit production targets, and are not forced to skip safety steps because of unachievable deadlines.

 

Adopting preventative maintenance

Lastly, when it comes to keeping your facility ticking over consistently and maintaining the desired level of output from day to day, preventative maintenance techniques are king.

The equipment you use will always undergo a degree of wear and tear over time, and choosing to look out for signs of this and take steps to remedy problems before they can spiral out of control will lessen the chances of unplanned downtime.

There are several layers to preventative maintenance, from visual inspections of equipment to full-blown AI-powered monitoring. Even making simple changes to your maintenance schedules can be majorly advantageous to your entire organization.

So all that remains is for you to look at your current strategies and see if cost-saving revisions are needed in light of what you’ve learned here.

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Should a Company Car Allowance Also Cover Insurance Costs?

Someone holding the keys to a company car. The car in out of focus in the background

Whether you are an employee who’s interested in whether it’s wise to take advantage of a company car allowance deal, or an employer that’s considering setting one up for your team, insurance could be a sticking point.

With varied costs and the legal requirement to have insurance if you own or have use of a vehicle, this seems like a significant outlay. But to what extent is it necessary to pay for insurance under a company car allowance package?

 

Insurance can be expensive, particularly in certain states

One of the unavoidable facts about auto insurance is that some people have to pay more than others simply because of where they live.

A good example of this is the state of Florida, which has higher average insurance premiums to account for the occasional extreme weather that causes chaos there.

Modern comparison tools do help motorists make savings, whether they use their vehicle for business or personal purposes.

It’s worth bearing in mind that costs of cover can rise if business use is included, and drivers have to tell insurers if they will be driving as part of their job, or else their policy might be invalidated.

 

Rules differ across the country

Another important point to take onboard is that not only will insurance costs vary from place to place, but the regulations and requirements to which employers must adhere are also wildly different.

In some states there is no mandatory need for employers to include insurance costs when calculating company car allowance payments. In others, like California, an allowance for the use of a personal vehicle for business purposes must be all-encompassing, which includes insurance as well as maintenance and tax.

Reading up on the rules which are in place in your area is sensible for employees and employers alike, so that you know where you stand.

 

Attracting and retaining talent matters

Even in the case that a business is not bound to cover insurance costs for employees by the authorities of the region, that doesn’t mean to say that they shouldn’t.

It’s all about working out how much it costs to recruit skilled team members, and to keep them satisfied and happy in their roles over time. While you might make a small saving by choosing not to pay for insurance costs under an allowance policy, this could be a costly mistake in the long run if you can’t attract or retain your best human assets.

 

Keeping employees safe is key

You should also think about how a company car allowance that includes insurance costs will influence the decision-making and driving habits of the employees that use it.

If workers are forced to pay a higher premium price if they are using their vehicle for business purposes, but aren’t being reimbursed, then they might instead pick a more basic package. Then if something goes wrong, they might not have adequate cover to get their car back on the road, which will of course hurt the business’ bottom line.

Likewise a lack of insurance payments could disincentivize employees from using personal vehicles for work purposes, which will be problematic from a productivity perspective.

In short, there are lots of angles from which it makes sense to implement insurance costs within a company car allowance scheme, which is why this is such a common feature nationwide, and internationally.

 

Allowance arrangements can be flexible

Business owners may be worried about the costs that come with a company car allowance initiative, but there are options here as well.

For total flexibility, providing a per-mile reimbursement agreement which means you only need to pay for the distance traveled by the employee for business purposes is arguably best.

For complete coverage, a flat allowance paid each month may be more savvy, depending on your situation.

Whatever the case, make sure to calculate costs carefully in order to come up with an allowance arrangement which keeps all parties content.

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The Process of Setting Up a Business in the US

US Business

If you are interested in creating your own business, you have to prepare everything that you’ll need for faster registration and less hassle. You also have other things that you must put into consideration before going through with your business. But opening your business in your own country and opening in another country has different guidelines that you must follow to make sure that you’ll be able to run your business without having to face a lot of trouble in the long run. One example is opening your own business in the US would need a lot of things that need to be met before you’ll be able to start the business that you have been dreaming of having in the said country.

 

VISA

One of the important things that you need when going to other countries is Visa. Whether you’ll be going there as a tourist or as an immigrant. You also use a visa in studying abroad whether under a scholarship or not. Having a visa can let you do a lot of things and experience what a lot of local people do. But it would still come down to what kind of visa you have and what is the purpose of your travel to another country. 

Some people go to another country for pleasure, others go for business and others go for employment. Some people who go to another country like the US for employment are being petitioned by their spouses to be able to work there. For them to be able to enter and work in the US, they would need the IR1 visa also known as the marriage green card. This allows them to enter the US legally as this green card is a family-based type that falls under the immediate relative categorization. These partner visas are specifically designed for those legally married foreign nationals to their green card holder partners or their US citizen partner.

 

IR1 Visa VS CR1 Visa

There are two types of marriage green cards that are available for partners: the IR1 visa and the CR1 visa. The type of visa that would be issued to the spouse would be based on how long the couple has been married. For the IR1 visa, it is issued if the couple is married for over 2 years. While a CR1 visa is issued for those couples who have just been recently married or haven’t reached 2 years of their marriage.

 

Benefits of IR1 Visa

Having partner visas can give you a lot of benefits like being able to travel inside and outside of the United States. You can also apply for your driver’s license. You are also allowed to open your bank account and work legally within the United States. You are also allowed to study in higher institutions and educational programs.

But for you to be able to have this visa, you’ll have to pass the requirements needed for your partner visas. You have to make sure that you’ll be able to provide the necessary documents for your visa application. You also have to make sure that you’ll be able to provide a valid address of your spouse in the US. 

 

Application

Once the petition has been approved by the NVC, the spouse must start the application. The application can be processed immediately once their petition has been approved. The DS-260 is a form that asks questions about an applicant’s background and the reason for relocating to the US. You must make sure that you have included the confirmation page together with the number given when you completed the form.

You also have to make sure that the invoice number of your ID and the case number you received from NVC’s first packet is included. There are also medical examinations that you have to undergo together with some necessary vaccinations to prove that you are healthy and won’t pose any risk to other people in the country.

Applying for an IR1 visa or partner visa might take a while but it will be worth the wait once you’ve been approved and working side by side with your partner. You won’t have to worry about being too far from your spouse. You’ll also be able to think about what your next step will be. Whether you want to apply for work or start your own business, you can now choose which one you prefer but it is better to find work first to be able to have startup money for your business in the future and save some for emergencies in the future.

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The Five Secrets to a Successful US Growth Strategy

Business Expansion

US expansion is a fantastic growth opportunity for UK companies if they successfully execute the right strategy for their business

UK management teams are increasingly looking across the Atlantic to maximise their growth potential. In order to do this, leaders need to select the most effective strategy for their business model and ambitions.

ECI Partners, the leading growth-focused mid-market private equity firm, shares its top tips for creating a successful growth strategy in the US. Looking to address the challenges that can often arise, ECI draws on the experience of two portfolio companies, Moneypenny and MiQ, both of which are fantastic success stories in the North American market.

 

1. Consider acquisition versus organic carefully

The first question is whether you enter the US organically, or if an acquisition is preferable to develop the requisite scale, capabilities, or brand recognition your company is aiming for. There is no ‘correct route’ but selecting the most effective strategy for your business from the start will have a positive impact on the pace of your US expansion journey.

For example, Moneypenny initially chose an organic route to market but saw that acquisitions would drive a step-change in the scale. The business acquired VoiceNation and Ninja Number in 2020, drawing new talent and US market knowledge to the company. Meanwhile, MiQ knew they had the right tech and systems in place, so their expansion focus was on finding the right people to deliver their service, so the organic route effectively aligned with their goals.

 

2. Move people over

Another essential consideration is your people. For example, many companies choose to move some of the existing leadership team over to the US so that hiring policies and training are put in place by someone who is already embedded in the culture.

This works both ways, and Moneypenny regularly rotates team members across both sides of the Atlantic, bringing US talent to the UK, sharing best practice and focusing everyone on the same initiatives.

Moving someone over, especially someone from the leadership team can also create a better understanding of the workings of the US market – seeing the difference between US and UK sales first-hand. Cracking the US will usually involve personal commitment from the leadership team but investing your time at the start can make all the difference in the long run.

 

3. Consider your base carefully

There are several determining factors when considering your US base, such as whether the location is a big tech hub, a tax-friendly environment, or the availability of talent.

Despite the buzz, it’s not all about competitive locations like New York or LA, but it is important to think about where your key regional customer bases are located.

All practicalities should be considered – when Moneypenny opened its US HQ in Atlanta, it was a popular destination for its relevant potential client base in legal, finance and accounting and medical, it also has a well-connected airport meaning easy access to the UK. The critical communications services company had also realised the importance of choosing a good geographical location after having experienced hurricane-related disruption in Charleston, highlighting the importance of considering all possible criteria when launching a US base. 

 

4. Recruiting in the US 

All business leaders know how paramount top talent is for business growth, particularly when taking a leap internationally. For this reason many companies have an employee-led strategy, for example recruiting fantastic junior talent and putting faith in them to take on more senior positions, so they can then lead the growth story in the US. You may look to hire from your main competitors this way, demonstrating the career potential within your firm.

The hiring market in the US is very competitive – expectations around pay and benefits are very high and US talent excels at selling itself which can lead to easy missteps. Being prepared to pay up and move quickly to secure the right talent to lead your US operation is key.

 

5. Don’t give up

The first few years getting your company set up and established in the US can be a challenge. Those who have succeeded know it often requires commitment and investment, so it is important to hold your nerve as once you crack the US market the rewards and potential growth arc for your company can be extraordinary.

 

Brett Pentz, Vice President at ECI New York, comments:

“The US represents a huge growth opportunity for businesses wanting to expand, but it can be a difficult market to crack. “When thinking about your growth strategy, it’s important to assess your business’ purpose for expansion, its goals and the specific conditions of the market before you start.

“To help get the most out of your expansion, it is really important to speak to people who have done it before, so you can get it right the first time, and once you’ve decided the right strategy for your business, grow at pace.”

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