This is a question we received at the Spokane Ask Me Anything sponsored by the National Association of Women Business Owners held June 12, 2014.

Office Location

Office Location

When a company looks to open another branch or location, what are the most common pitfalls you see?

When making any significant change to a business or organization, and opening another branch or location is significant, the most important thing to do is question your assumptions.

Start with defining what your assumptions are – make a list.

  • Why are you opening another branch or location?
  • What do you expect to happen when the new branch or location is open?
  • What are the costs?
  • What effect will the new branch or location have on existing locations?
  • What are the staffing impacts?

These are only a few questions that should be asked. It helps to have someone who can challenge your plan and force you to explain your reasoning.

It’s the old adage of “Consider you might be wrong.” For every assumption you have, ask yourself what will I do if this assumption is wrong? And assumptions can be wrong in two directions – performance can be worse than expected and performance can be much greater than expected – which we call catastrophic success. Both situations must be considered in your planning.

A physicist by trade, author by choice, a born teacher, a retired veteran, and an adamant problem solver, Frank has helped the White House, federal agencies, military offices, historical museums, manufacturers, and over 250 technology startups get stuff done, communicate effectively, and find practical solutions that work for them. In his spare time, he makes sawdust and watches Godzilla movies.