Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur looking to diversify your investments or a budding startup owner eager to explore new horizons, the art of portfolio expansion is a crucial skill to master.
For many, the feat may seem impossible to accomplish given the ever-changing world of business. However, the key to long-term success lies not only in the stability of your existing ventures, but also in your ability to strategically expand your business portfolio. Learning to effectively manage and expand your portfolio paves the road for sustainable growth, prosperity, and larger community impact.
My journey began in 2017, when I took a leap into the world of entrepreneurship after over 20 years working in Media. At this time, I had achieved all of my career goals and was ready to settle down and make a community impact in my new hometown of San Antonio. While exploring different ventures, I found the Streamline Brands portfolio, and saw immense value in their programs, knowing the importance of swim safety. I knew this was the right fit for me and I became the proud owner of SafeSplash Swim School. From there, I knew I wanted to continue to grow throughout the area, and to date, I now successfully own five schools in the greater San Antonio market.
Key to my ongoing success has been my hunger to grow, strategically.
After successfully expanding my business portfolio, I hope to share tips for other business owners considering the opportunity that exists through expansion.
Expanding your business can be a daunting challenge, but remaining focused and committed to your employees, their goals, and their growth is paramount. Employees are the make or break of a business and help ensure it operates smoothly.
Make sure your business has ample opportunities for employees to grow – clearly define their career trajectory. By doing so, you’ll cultivate a dedicated and knowledgeable workforce that will be committed to scaling with you.
Be flexible and empathetic towards them as well. By leading with empathy and flexibility, I have created a more open environment where employees can learn from others and themselves. This communicates to them that you are willing to invest back into their success and help them achieve their personal goals.
This requires a shift in mindset that makes you think past challenges and instead, think what will produce desired results.
Finding employees, navigating real-estate, dealing with government regulations, inflation, etc. are all obstacles that you may need to overcome when expanding your business.
Make sure you have a team that you can lean-on so you aren’t forced to tackle challenges on your own. Collaboration with your team is one of the best tactics in becoming solution-oriented. By empowering your team and embracing collaboration, you will garner solutions that make sense for the business as a whole. You will also gain insight from perspectives you may not have explored before.
Switching your mindset to one that is solution-oriented morphs roadblocks into pebbles and amplifies your ability to lead under the pressure of challenges faced.
Be a Decision-Maker
Being a good decision-maker starts with being aware of the needs and goals of your business. The simplest way to do this is to actively participate and engage at all levels of your business.
The insight you gather by being involved with the day-to-day operations will greatly inform your decisions, and you’ll be able to confidently move towards expansion knowing that your business is set up for success.
Hold regular audits with your management teams, conduct SWOT analysis, etc., and lean on data to guide you; but, never underestimate your intuition at the helm of operations.
No location is the same, you will be faced with many decisions for each. Rely on your judgement and observation to make the right choice and know that it may differ from the other locations, and that is okay.
Be Active in the Community
Establishing a strong presence in the local community can build trust, credibility, and a positive reputation. Community involvement makes your business recognizable within the area, and you’ll be able to gain access to market insights that can inform future decisions regarding expansion.
Additionally, it allows business owners to forge relationships with other local businesses and potential partners. This can open doors to collaborations, resources, and support that are crucial for expanding your operations.
This can be through community events, givebacks, donation bins, and other activities that shows your commitment to bettering and serving the community your business resides in.
These four tips continue to hold true throughout my journey as a business owner, from opening the first location to the fifth. Every business is different, but these principles resonate in any industry and with any sized company. Growth can be frightening, but with the right mindset, team, and community backing, success and scale can be achievable and successful.
Robert Canales is the owner of five SafeSplash Swim Schools in the San Antonio and Boerne, TX areas. After reaching his career height over 20 years, he sought out a change that led him to the Streamline Brands portfolio and the opening of his first swim school in 2017. Since then, Robert’s success has known no bounds, with him continuing to expand across the San Antonio area. If you are interested in the Streamline Brands portfolio of franchise opportunities, please visit www.streamlinebrands.com.