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Your business is booming. Sales are up and profits have never been higher. Those greener pastures you have been tirelessly working towards are finally starting to come into view. The rapid growth stage is one of the most exciting times for any company.
However, handling rapid growth is no easy task. If you are not properly prepared for the big changes, things can easily spiral out of control and turn your dreams into nightmares. The challenges of rapid growth are very real and must be handled with caution. Upgrading your small organization can be extremely nerve-racking. Here are a few tips to keep in mind during this eventful process:
1. Understand the cause of growth.
If your small business is experiencing rapid growth, clearly, you’re doing something right. Pinpoint exactly what it is that sets you apart from your competition. Keep this aspect prominent within your business model. It is easier than you think to lose sight of core values during rapid growth.
This means analyzing sales, assets, overheads, inventory and receivables. Once you have a clear idea of exactly where you stand financially, plan out how you estimate the growth to impact those factors to determine how you will need to refinance. This will help to avoid potential liquidation down the road.
2. Keep customer experience a priority.
Regardless of what stage of growth your business is in, always make sure you are listening to your customers and meeting their needs. Don’t you hate calling a big company and being forced to talk to automated robots and listen to mind-numbing elevator music? If your customers are used to a high level of support, doing things to take away from that experience will turn them off in droves.
At the end of the day, the customers pay your bills and are the reason business is booming. Keep them happy. Social media and feedback forms are great resources to see how your business is evolving in the eyes of the consumer.
As far as improvement for your business, the customers are the ones with the most relevant ideas. Remember, in the digital age, a bad experience can spread through the internet within seconds.
3. Choose your team wisely.
The employees you hire have a huge impact on the future of your company. Regardless of how good your product or service is, without the right team to guide growth, your business will fall flat. Don’t be afraid to hire people smarter than yourself. Chances are, they can bring a lot to the table and have innovative ideas to keep growth moving smoothly. Just be sure there is a shared vision of the company’s future.
4. Carefully measure staffing needs.
Rapid business growth equals a pressing need to add more workers to the payroll. This is a prime time to step back and critically assess your current staff and whether their responsibilities can be optimized to meet increasing tasks.
When there is a strong need to hire more hands, a good strategy is to hire temporary workers. This will help to get an idea for how certain workers can fit into your business model without a huge risk of hiring them full time. Another increasingly popular option is to hop on the freelancer bandwagon. Companies everywhere are hiring freelancers to remotely do the tedious jobs, such as data entry. This will help a lot to cut down on costs while freeing up more time for onsite tasks.
5. Be open to adapting.
Being able to adapt to changing trends and ideas is a common trait amongst successful entrepreneurs. The ability to adjust your business and test different strategies is one of the strongest ways to approach the growth stage.
During this time, it is all about being an effective leader that inspires everyone else. You will undoubtedly be faced with challenging decisions that require adaptability. If you are not able to welcome potential change when making a crucial decision, it could mean big trouble for your employees as well as your business.
6. Find a good mentor.
Being at the helm of a growing company does not mean to have do it all alone. Don’t be afraid to put your ego aside. Seeking help and advice from an experienced entrepreneur can help to reduce a lot of stress. Chances are, they’ve run into a lot of the same situations you have and know the early signals of potential problems.
The rapid growth stage of a company can be an extremely volatile environment. When it’s time to make big decisions that determine your future, you need to be adequately prepared and financed.