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10 tips to help you expand your business

Posted on: March 24, 2016 | Author: Warren Matzelle, Co-owner YYC & YEG Cycle

The spin bikes in their studios may be stationary, but this entrepreneurial triple threat made a big move up the QE II recently. Warren Matzelle, co-owner of YYC and YEG Cycle, shares his ten tips for expanding a business, based on what he and business partners Grady Topak and Andrew Obrecht learned by going north.

  1. Reflect on your current business.

    Our business was doing so well in Calgary that we felt we had a fighting chance of being successful with the expansion.

  2. Document everything you do.

    As the owner of a business, you probably do a lot of things without even thinking about them simply because it’s your business and they need to get done. But when you expand, someone needs to be in place to do those things.

    For example, maybe Grady goes shopping every week for our studio and buys all the toilet paper. But if you’re expanding into multiple studios and Grady is no longer there to shop, then who is buying all the toilet paper? There are going to be a handful of items that you don’t capture and those are the little things that could hurt the quality of your business.

  3. Market research is key.

    Calgary already had multiple spin studios (albeit not all owned and operated by us) but there are other options in the market. So we tried to identify a market that didn’t have this form of exercise or the boutique studio concept. We looked at lots of options and much to our surprise, the best locale seemed to be Edmonton.

  4. More research is even better.

    Once we identified Edmonton as our expansion market we dove deeper and researched questions like:

    • Would this city make sense for our business?
    • Would Edmonton be receptive?
    • What is the customer base like in Edmonton?
    • What is the market like compared to Calgary?

    Once you have answered these types of questions you will have a better feel for whether your expansion plans make sense.

  5. Seek out great business partners.

    We were so lucky to meet our managing partner up in Edmonton, Farha, who has been a huge help with opening and operating the business.

  6. Be risk-adverse.

    We want to make sure that we take care of everything that we have built up in Calgary and in Edmonton. We don’t want to lose the quality that we have built this business on. This was a major consideration on our radar before we moved on to a different city or considered a fourth studio.

  7. Listen.

    Listening to our staff and customers is key so that we can nip weaknesses in the bud. It gives us a chance to put controls in place so that the business can continue to grow at the rate we want.

  8. Be as certain as you can be of your success.

    There’s always a moment when you are second guessing yourself, but we are never going to move forward on a project or investment idea until we are as sure as we can be that it will work.

  9. Don’t outgrow yourself.

    I think the biggest mistake people make in the retail/service sector is that they outgrow themselves. Not in a financial capacity, but in management capacity. You'll see businesses that have grown maybe to ten stores, but have decreased the quality of the product they are offering to clients by maybe 50 or 70 per cent.

  10. Make sure you have a great support team.

    ATB’s support has been so pivotal in everything we have done this year, and moving forward. Not only has it helped us bring new clients in the door, it has actually helped us garner better business relationships too. The relationship we have with ATB has really elevated us to the next level.

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