Running a small business is hard. Running a small business that is in the midst of growth is harder. It is often you hear success stories of small businesses making it to the big time. But, you rarely hear how they got there. How did they manage to sustain their growth for a long enough period for it to become profitable? How did they establish themselves as a brand? How did they cope with the growth whilst it was happening? Whilst sadly, many people will tell you it’s just dumb luck, there are in fact concrete strategies that business owners are using globally to guarantee the longevity of their businesses growth. Below are some ways to deal with growth in your business:
- Plan ahead
Often times it can seem that your business has boomed out of nowhere, however that’s usually not the case for the average small business owner. They know better than anyone how much goes on behind the scenes and how hard it is to sustain long term growth. Lots of difficult work, dedication and bumps along the road have lead up to this and there’s no chance of that slowing down when you’re in the middle of a growth spurt. One of the best things you can do to ensure you are ready to embrace the growth of your company is to anticipate. Anticipate your needs as a business. Anticipate the potential redundancies. Anticipate additions to staff. Anticipate financial peaks and troughs. There is no telling what the future holds, but a good business owner has a plan for growth and is not shaken by the progression of their company.
- It might be worth thinking about implementing HR strategies
When businesses grow, they usually get bigger, and with a bigger business, means more time, money and most importantly, people. When businesses make the hurdle from small to medium, lots of different departments come in to play – many of which may have never been relevant to your company until now. Typically, departments such as Human Resources are the very last things on business owner’s minds when their business is experiencing growth. The mere concept of HR for employers and employees alike is off-putting, too broad, and hard to implement. Although, with proper planning, departments such as HR can improve employee life and in turn positively shape your company’s culture. Especially during periods of growth, HR strategies allow businesses to run efficiently, effectively and smoothly.
- Redefine your mission and vision
With the growth your business has experienced, it’s likely that some of the goals you have for your company may have shifted slightly. Whether or not this is the case, it’s still worth rethinking if your initial mission is still relevant. Convene with your employees and ask the tough questions. Is your mission realistic? Is it being lived up to? Don’t take their feedback for granted. Similarly, if your mission statement no longer makes sense, don’t be afraid to get rid of it and start fresh. Redefine your goals as a company and be as specific as possible, do not leave any room for guessing.
Your mission statement needs to be in line with your expectations for your business, has to incorporate what you’ve learned and it needs to build on what’s already been created. Arguably, it is most important that your mission is both measurable and attainable if you want to ride the growth of your business. It’s an easy way to see how far you’ve come, and how far you’ve got left to go.
Not only do you want to cope with the growth, you want to sustain it. Be the one to ensure your company does not fall by the wayside and becomes completely swallowed by poor growth and sustainability strategies. The best ways to ensure the growth of your business is here to stay are as follows:
- Watch your spending
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of sudden wind beneath your company’s wings. Business owners get sucked into thinking their business should be modeled after its success rather than the other way around. This is a slippery slope, especially in terms of spending. Perhaps you feel that your company could justify and heavily benefit from a new company car to suit its new found pull in local and surrounding areas. Perhaps it’s a huge investment into advertising, or you feel pressured to prematurely relocate, etc. etc.
Whatever the reason may be, it might be worth slowing down. Although anticipation and preparedness are important, they are only effective if they are managed properly. It’s hard not to succumb to outside pressures or get excited and take a step too far, it’s understandable, but avoidable. When you notice that your company is experiencing a period of growth, prioritize spending in tangible realistic ways and don’t indulge ideas of grandeur.
- Ensure the customer remains your focus
Don’t lose sight of what’s important. It’s highly likely that you owe your businesses success to its customers, and that fact will remain true regardless of how far your company progresses. The notion can link back to redefining your mission. Perhaps a pillar of your company is that the customer is its most valuable asset. Thus, it is even more imperative that you strive to sustain this focus. Engaging the customers and ensuring they are at the heart of all decisions being made behind the scenes is a sure fire way to ensure you’re business isn’t going anywhere, and that this first jump in growth won’t be it’s last.