When to Expand

by Natalie Jenkins

As you may be aware, last month Taipan announced the imminent arrival of our Adelaide Trade Centre! Opening in February 2023, the Adelaide branch will be Taipan’s fifth national distribution hub. As with all new endeavours, a lot of planning went on behind the scenes to ensure this expansion was the right choice for our Taipan team.

This month, we thought we’d give you a glimpse ‘behind the curtain’ by sitting down with our Managing Director, Allan, to ask him what motivated Taipan to continue expanding.

Natalie: Hi, Allan. Tell me, what would you say are the most important things to consider before expanding a business?

Allan: Well, I can’t speak for everyone. It’s usually a combination of factors that are unique to each individual business. But I can say the things Taipan considered heavily before all our expansions are probably not what most people would expect.

Natalie: In what way?

Allan: Well, when you think about growing a business, what would you say is the first thing that comes to mind?

Natalie: Probably money.

Allan: Exactly. Finances, money, that’s always going to be a big factor. But for Taipan, we have found the approach that works best for us is to consider three main things.

Natalie: And what would those things be?

Allan: Well, the first thing will always be our customers. Are we opening a branch just to have another branch, or will it actually benefit our customers? Will expanding make it easier to get product out within Australia? Will it be faster, more efficient, cost saving to the customers? By opening a branch in Adelaide, we are creating a straight path up the centre of Australia to Darwin, halving transport time and airbag costs.

Natalie: That will definitely benefit our customers.

Allan: It sure will, Nat. That’s exactly the point. We want to provide service on a broader basis and give our customers local representation, not just a voice on the phone. By providing a complete package and ensuring our customers can order everything they need from us, that’s going to save the customer in all areas; freight, time, admin, you name it.

Natalie: That sounds great. So, if the first thing you consider is customers, what’s the second thing?

Allan: The second is our people.

Natalie: In what way?

Allan: A lot of businesses are making heaps of money by trying to take over the world. It’s all about profit margins for them. But when you look at it like that, you begin to lose sight of what makes your success possible: your people.

Natalie: That’s true.

Allan: It is a necessity for a business to grow and develop because of the opportunities it creates for people. Taipan, for example, is a small business in a massive ocean. The potential for staff to develop a great career is enormous, provided the team are on the same page and working towards the same goals. If you want to offer potential growth for your people so they can become leaders in their own right, then you have to expand.

Natalie: That’s a good way of looking at it. You get out what you put in, right?

Allan: Exactly. If you create a workplace where your team are invested in the business and where they can go with you, then expansion will happen naturally. You will have a greater chance of success in your endeavour because your team can see the end goal and where they fit into it.

Natalie: So, we’ve talked about our customers and our people. Is there anything else you consider when choosing to expand?

Allan: Yes. Another thing that is always high on the list is something that comes with any type of growth: risk.

Natalie: That is an important one.

Allan: It sure is. You need to have a certain amount of appetite for risk in business, or else you’ll never grow. But there are always those doubts when expanding. What if it doesn’t work? What if we don’t get enough customers?

Natalie: How do you minimise those doubts?

Allan: By doing your research and making sure you are prepared. Have everything your customers could want. Stock, variety, customer service, you need to make it too convenient for them. The chances of customers using you instead of your competition are much higher if you can provide everything they are looking for.

Natalie: Is there any advice you would give our customers who are thinking of expanding?

Allan: Don’t do a half-arsed job. Money is great, but your customers and your people should always be your first thought when you decide to take the leap. Give yourself the opportunity to grow and don’t be afraid to try something new. It might not always work out, but it could also be the best thing you ever do.

To find out more about our new Adelaide branch, give us a call on 1300 654 782, or head over to https://taipan.com.au/adelaide/.