Plenty of companies have crashed and burned before they even really began. Fail to build a customer base, and you’ll fail to meet the kind of crucial objectives necessary to survive your first years of business. We’ve all heard about these kinds of failures, though. Lesser known but still equally as damaging? Growing too fast. While business growth seems like an inherently good problem to have, it has derailed just as many companies as low sales rates ever have.
If you’re experiencing business growth, you might be starting to see the impact – both negative and positive – on your bottom line. Check out these tips for guidance on how to handle your success without being weighed down by the increased demand. While there’s no guaranteed path to success, these tips can help you and your team weather the storm and grow your business in a healthy manner:
The most successful business owners set goals and meet them, but sometimes they don’t. Either way, they work towards their goals and set new ones based on previous results. If you’re still operating from a growth-centric mindset, it might be time to recalibrate. Rather than focus all your energy and attention on gaining new customers, allocate some of your efforts to maintain your rate of production or increase customer satisfaction levels. Only focusing on growth and not also prioritizing goals like the two mentioned here can lead to big problems. Business growth is a tricky metric for success and shouldn’t be the only way you’re measuring the effectiveness of your team.
As you set goals, consider short-term, long-term and medium-term priorities. By ranking your goals chronologically, you can ensure your business growth happens in a sustainable way. Exceeding expectations is great, but if you can’t keep up with demand, you’re going to lose customers before you ever have the chance to delight them. Use planning tools to project your next few months to ensure you can indeed grow in a sustainable manner. If there’s no clear solution, you may need to find new manufacturers, change up your retail strategy, or bring on new partners to help you keep up with the demand.
Nobody can predict the future, but sales projections and forecasts can help you and your team understand what the next few months have in store. Business growth is often unpredictable, and your ultimate sales numbers may end up looking quite different from your expectations. Still, it’s important to brace yourself for the possibilities and make the smartest choices for sustainability. The last thing you want is to waste your time and money marketing a product you can’t afford to keep in stock!
Business growth often comes with a lot of initial cash flow, which is exciting for startups and small businesses who are eager for a win. Unfortunately, though, continued success isn’t guaranteed. Without a plan in place to limit costs, it’s easy for your operating budget to balloon, especially when you’re struggling to meet demand.
Many business owners see growth as a reason to expand their staff. While more staff can indeed help you meet the needs of your customers more quickly, there are many downsides to onboarding new employees during periods of growth. Rather hiring workers (one of the costliest things a business can do) to help you meet demand, consider working with contractors or outsourcing partners like a call center or virtual receptionist instead. You’ll save on salary, benefits and office supplies while still maximizing your output.
Scaling your business up often means doing more with less. Procedures, policies and routines that no longer serve you may need to be eliminated or replaced. When you’re in the green, you might think that taking on more debt to solve these challenges is a good idea. Instead, resist the urge to grow your debts as business growth occurs. Do what you must to keep operating, but minimize debt wherever possible. You’ll thank yourself in the long run with the growth boom has waned.
They say a chain is as strong as its weakest link. Without experienced, capable partners to help you navigate a hazy future, you may be shooting your business in the foot. Business growth demands efficient, hard-working, valuable team players. Partners can come in many iterations. Even if you don’t want to spend the big bucks to bring in additional staff, there are other helpful options. Reliable contractors you can use for ad hoc projects are extremely valuable, third-party support providers that can assist with administrative tasks can help lighten your load, and quality mentors have a lot of experience/guidance to offer.
No man is an island, and if you’ve been shouldering the weight of your company alone, it’s time to delegate some of that work. Otherwise, burnout can be a very real risk. Business growth often forces entrepreneurs to get real about what they should and shouldn’t be spending their time on. The “roll up your sleeves and own every front” mentality that once bolstered your efforts may now be an albatross around your neck. In order to stay successful, you’ve got to know when to delegate certain tasks that don’t require your unique skill set or vision.
Thankfully, MAP Communications has the resources you require to expand your offerings while maintaining your high standards. Our nationwide answering services, call center offerings, and virtual receptionists make it easy to bolster your team without the cost of hiring employees. If you’re experiencing unprecedented business growth and would like help holding the front, give MAP a try with a free, week-long trial.