How to Handle a Period of Growth in Your Business
While every business owner strives for growth, sometimes it can have unexpected negative consequences. Learn how to deal with them here
So you’re experiencing a growth period in your business. A new product launch was successful, marketing continues to generate profits and sales hit the roof as you take on more high value clients.
This is promising sign that your business has done something right. You are profitable and on the road to high flying success, congratulations. Things may operate smoothly at this time but with the growing number of enquiries building up and your customer base expanding, an inevitable question presents itself…
Is your company ready to face these challenges and, if not, how can you overcome them to sustain long-term growth?
At this point there are several steps you can take, as the business owner, to ensure the day-to-day running of your business operates smoothly.
Step 1. Avoid potential pitfalls
There are some common pitfalls to avoid when looking to grow your business with new appointments. If your customer base has doubled, or the value of your business is greater than before, you may also notice a resistance from your staff as they struggle to keep up with demand (leading to mistakes been made).
At this point, you should consider appointing a management team to oversee practical tasks so you can rest assured that your business is operating as it should while you concentrate on generating leads.
When you take on any new team member, they will no doubt come with their own experience and knowledge of what it takes to manage a successful business. While you will always be around to make sure targets are being met, you need to resist the temptation to micro-manage the situation.
Actions: Put your trust in a team player with new ideas and opportunities that can effectively manage a growing workforce.
Step 2. Revamp your cashflow projections
The faster a business is growing or changing, the more difficult it will become to plan future expenditure or income. But doing so is a must. It will allow you to manage your outgoings and keep your business on track with realistic expectations.
Most businesses have a major overhaul of their projections each year, with monthly updates to revise and refresh strategies if needed. But in the case of a fast-growing business, it becomes essential to consider a complete revamp of plans, or at least cashflow projections, several times throughout the year as deviations from ongoing sales can damage overall revenue.
Because fast growing business expenses have a tendency to increase faster than sales, you’ll need to stay on top of all changes to projected cashflow. This will allow you to make cut backs on secondary expenses and, if necessary, slow the growth of your business so you don’t run out of money.
Actions: Start by making a list of all outgoings and discuss items that you may be able to cut back on.
Step 3. Refine your brand messages
Following the appointment of new staff members comes the self-consuming task of ensuring your brand messages are not lost in communication. While new ideas for business development are encouraged, they should not deviate from your original brand messages.
Actions: To educate new employees on the best practices, conduct a planned induction day with clear objectives to follow and monitor in the upcoming weeks.
Step 4. Set long-term goals
Finally, a growth period gives you, as the business owner, a chance to reflect on your achievements to date and formulate a ‘plan of attack’ for the future. Whether it’s planning for the year or the next five years, it’s important to have a roadmap and understand how you are going to get there. Of course, it doesn’t mean you have to stick to that route. If something is working particularly well for you that wasn’t foreseen then, by all means, run with it.
Actions: Set out your goals on paper and revisit them in a year’s time to see how far you’ve come. You’ll be surprised the progress you can make with just a few simple goals in mind.