Managing the Growth of Your Business
Increasing sales, revenue, profits, and market share are great signs. They indicate that your business is growing and that the original plans you put in place are working. Now comes the hard part: managing the growth of your business so that you can sustain its success.
This requires different plans, strategies, and priorities. It may seem as though things will work themselves out; that all you need to do to clinch success in the future is to carry on with what has worked in the past. This is simply not the case. You will need to set new objectives and new expectations to take your business to the next level. You will also need new kinds of people, structures, and processes. And you should not rule out the possibility of going into different markets or even creating new ones, depending on the size and nature of your company.
Dealing with the organizational issues of a growing business is especially challenging. As a business consultant, most of the entrepreneurs I’ve dealt with have hardened conceptions on this issue. They’re resistant to adding “layers of bureaucracy” and think that the informality that they had when the company was small will ensure that it remains flexible and responsive to client needs. The trick, however, is to maintain the unique organizational culture of your company while adjusting to the realities of a bigger business—one that has the potential to expand even further. Instilling some additional discipline in how operations are run and services are delivered is a means of achieving this balance, and it can be the key to successfully managing the success of your business.
There is an excellent article in Fast Company on how to deal with your start-up’s fast growth. I found this bit of advice particularly interesting—and true:
For most people, scaling is all about more–more employees, more customers, more revenue, more processes, more tiers of management. Often, this drive toward more masks what you are losing, what you should lose, and how it will impact your business.
“Scaling is actually a problem of less,” says Sutton. “There are lots of things that used to work that don’t work anymore, so you have to get rid of them. There are probably a bunch of things you’ve always done that slowed you down without you realizing it.” You have to be aware of necessary subtractions even as you keep your eyes fixed on additions.
You can read the rest of the article here. Adjusting to the success of your business means revising your strategy. In some cases, it may even be necessary for you to develop an entirely new business plan.
One thing you should always keep in mind, however, is communication. It is vital that you keep constantly engaged with your employees. Your people should always be in the loop on how the company is doing, what the plans for the next step are, and what is expected from each of them in reaching this goal.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.