Most of us focus on launching a new venture and getting it to the point where it’s first breaking even and then bringing us a profit consistently. However, many entrepreneurs fail to think too far beyond that point or plan how they will cope with the growth that, hopefully, comes at some point.
While getting lots of sales is great, quick expansion also comes with its own potential challenges to overcome. Read on for some key strategies you can utilize to cope with these issues when the time comes.
Build Your Leadership Abilities
For starters, you’ll need to keep working on your leadership abilities. The more and faster your business grows, the quicker you need to level up and be able to make strategic decisions and lead a team. The skills and strengths you currently have got you to where you are now, but you’ll likely need additional ones to make the most of new opportunities and minimize the chances of making significant mistakes.
You’ll need to build your abilities around things like how to delegate more and do so effectively, how to speak with teams and share a vision and goals, and how to work with the media and even, potentially, attract investors. Learning how to be a better decision maker, time manager, communicator, and salesperson is also essential. You’ll also want to know how to avoid burnout, keep stress levels manageable, and learn from mistakes.
To develop as a leader, look for mentors to help you grow and consider completing courses, workshops, and other educational activities. Mindset is also vital – you need to be open to trying new things and understand that personal development is not only necessary but also takes time.
Set Clear Roles for Everyone
Another way to reduce the likelihood of big problems arising as you deal with a rapidly expanding venture is to set clear roles for everyone. In particular, all the owners, investors, and other top leaders in the firm should know their roles and responsibilities to the organization and each other.
You don’t want people wasting time completing the same tasks because they think no one else is doing them, and nor do you want to miss out on jobs being done because everyone else thinks they’re up to someone else. Discussing responsibilities and expectations ASAP will help save everyone time and reduce potential arguments.
It pays to create contracts or general documents about what each leader is in charge of and set some goals for different areas of the business. In turn, everyone can focus on what they need to do, and you should have fewer bottlenecks during the growth stages of the operation.
Find and Invest in the Right People to Support Your Growth
You’ll also need to build a team around you to start delegating work to as time goes on and the business keeps expanding. It’s essential to pick the right people to help support the growth rather than make your life harder. Take your time choosing employees and contractors and look for those with complementary skills, the right attitude, and who will fit in nicely with your corporate culture.
You may need to hire human resources personnel, accounting and finance experts, sales staff, marketing employees, customer service representatives, and admin staff. Plus, you may want to invest in security guarding services or IT technicians if you have a lot of stock, materials, or equipment to protect or complex technological and digital security needs.
Take Advantage of the Data Available to You
In this data-driven day and age, one other way to deal with growing business pains is by tracking, analyzing, and sharing information. The more data you can look at, the better you will see smart decisions to make and where to allocate resources. Rather than relying on emotions, intuition, and guesses all the time, hard facts can give you a solid predictor of future behavior, results, potential costs, etc., and thus indicate safer and smarter ways to move forward.
Gather and examine real-time data, wherever possible, and pay attention to details about things like your customer base and what, when, and how they buy, your profit levels and cashflow information, and sales during different times of the year. Take a close look at marketing results and returns on investment, and use data to help you schedule your employees, order inventory, and invest in marketing campaigns.
There is all sorts of information worth examining, and much of it is free or very affordable to source and analyze these days, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of it.
These are just some ways to better cope with the challenges of fast organizational growth. Be open to new ideas and learn as much as you can as quickly as you can so that the coming weeks and months are more streamlined, productive, and profitable.