Do You Have Business Growing Pains?
If you’re a business owner or executive, you’re probably working hard to grow your business. And sometimes that means sleepless nights; long days. It can be hard not to think about business. And as the business grows, things change. Or at least they probably should. When we try to keep doing what we’ve always done, we soon realize that it won’t work. Now we have growing pains.
Through some of our own experiences and through some we have witnessed in other businesses, we’ve learned a few things. Pay close attention. We want to share these with you so that you can manage or reduce the pains that can occurs when you are successful and your company is growing.
- It’s all in your head! Processes and systems are in the owner’s head or otherwise not written down. As a company grows, it’s especially important to create repeatability of processes. If the only person who knows the process is one person, then they are the only person who can do the job. When people are added, documented processes help create consistency when delivering products, services, or experiences. This also helps when it comes time for you to delegate.
- Who’s ready to promote? When the answer is no one, it tells us we haven’t created any bench strength. At that point, the only option is to hire outside talent. Sometimes hiring talent from the outside is good. But often, existing employees are frustrated because they weren’t given the opportunity because we didn’t develop and train them. It’s good practice to have people ready to promote or move to different positions as the company grows.
- Where are we going? Often a leader simply wants revenues to go up but hasn’t yet created a picture of what the company looks like beyond the revenue…and what it will take to get there. When everyone knows what the future picture looks like, they can help make that vision become a reality. Without the picture, employees can go in rogue directions, unintentionally making it harder to achieve the goals.
- Didn’t see that coming! When we’re in growth-mode, we may be spending money as fast (or faster) than we make it. Make sure you have a safety net. Safety nets are any actions that you do in advance to plan for the unexpected. Sometimes it is having cash reserves or a line of credit. Sometimes it is having a “Plan B” or “Plan C” if the original plan doesn’t work. Back up vendors and suppliers; people who are cross trained. These are only a few examples. We’re sure you can think of others.
- We’re living in the past. When a business is small, it seems like everyone reports to the owner. Eventually, that changes if the executive can let go of some decisions. After years of growing, companies get into habits of job titles and positions without challenging how effective they are. Look at redesigning position descriptions and reporting structures. Shake things up to reduce bottlenecks and process habits. Create a little chaos! It does wonderful things for growth.
As you can see, this list is short. We’re sure you know of other growing pains, and we want to hear about them. Sometimes making a change can get started with a simple conversation. Contact us for a free discussion!