There is no better feeling than when your business takes off, sales grow and demand for your services is high; it is validation that your business idea was solid and a reflection on how hard you have worked. Many people have to battle unsupportive friends, bankruptcy and real difficulties getting their businesses up and running, so when your business starts to grow quickly you don’t want it undermining everything you have done already.
Well done for getting this far, but make sure you keep an eye on the following:
More sales doesn’t mean more revenue
It makes sense to think the more sales you put through your books, the more revenue you will make and the richer your business will become – good in principle, but in reality more sales will drive up your operating costs. Whether it’s a new hire to cope with workloads or a CRM system to look after all those new customer journeys you will need to start paying out more, all at varying scales and expense, at the start of this growth you will need to make sure you put any money you make back into your business to make sure you grow it properly.
You have to hire people
When you’ve been a band of one for so long, or managed a little team, suddenly having to hire more and more people can seem fairly daunting; you have to relinquish control of your business just that little bit more and learn on the job on how to manage a larger team. The larger your team becomes the more personality differences and team dynamics you will have to deal with; most people are not born leaders and you should make sure you invest time to learn, if you are a bad manager people will leave your company and that is not good for morale.
Your customer journey slips
This one is easily done! If you are experiencing rapid growth then you will have 101 things on your mind…as above you will be interviewing people, trying to keep up with extra orders and you may not have time for the little attention to detail that has been an integral part of your customer experience. Whether it’s a lack of social media posting or proper email communication, your customers will notice and this is bad for sales. The main ingredients of a successful company is usually their customers and products, so whether your company is growing, declining or ticking along nicely customer service has to be front of mind.
Find a mentor
If you have no experience of running a larger company, and you are starting to find your company’s growth overwhelming then you should definitely invest in a mentor. Reach out to your network, competitor or event scout for mentors on LinkedIn – research someone who was once in a similar position and managed to steer their business to success – that inside knowledge will be invaluable to you. I recommend having a mentor throughout your career (corporate or entrepreneurial) but never more so when you are unsure of what to do next and need a helping hand – don’t be afraid to ask, most people enjoy mentoring talent and you can teach them a thing or two too.
Stop the micro-management
Probably the hardest idea to put into practise from this list and no one can blame you; you will have spent weeks, months, years of your life working unspeakable hours, learning how to be a CEO, CIO, CMO and CHRO all in one, setting strategy, building customer relationships and having absolute power. Now all of a sudden you are being pulled in too many directions and need to delegate to others, but you don’t know how to let go and in turn you end up micro-managing your poor employees. Employees, at the end of the day, start out as complete strangers and you have to put your trust in them to do the work to grow your business. Make sure you put strategies in place to nurture employee trust and recognise when you need to take a step back, remember other people have different ways of working and may actually have new and interesting ideas – be open.
Have you been through this? Let me know how you coped with business growth.