With Business Growth Comes Business Growing Pains
It’s the hope and dream of every entrepreneur and small business owner. The day your business turns the corner and is officially profitable! It’s the long-awaited day when you’re no longer operating at a loss and your profitability projections and bank balance become one. [Cue angelic chorus]
Growth has been steady and you’ve got some breathing room. Your business plan contained growth and expansion projections but now it’s here and it’s really happening. No longer just words on paper with pretty graphs and charts. This is your business and it’s growing.
With that growth comes some pretty jolting changes if you weren’t expecting them; here are three of them and how you can navigate through them.
That Family Feeling Dissipates
If you started your business with just a handful of employees, more than likely you all became a small family. You celebrated each employee’s birthday with cake and a good half hour off in the afternoon to celebrate. However, as you grow, you’ll discover that buying an individual birthday cake for five people is a lot different than buying birthday cakes for 50 people. And that half hour in the afternoon turns into hours and begins to cut into productivity.
Growth will certainly dictate a change in employee relations. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t show your greatest resource that they are valued and appreciated. That appreciation is just shown differently…like a cake in the break room during lunch for all the birthdays that month.
It’s a bit challenging to redefine company culture but it can be done. You’ll need a clear vision and buy in on all levels.
Growth May Result in Personnel Turnover
The people who start with you may not be the same people who can keep up with the company’s growth and that’s okay. As your company grows you’ll need to hire people who are properly trained with relevant experience to help facilitate and oversee that growth. Sometimes you’ll hire people who may not have all the skills but are teachable, ambitious and wanting to grow as well.
One of my colleagues during such a growth moment in her business realized that her employee handbook was going to be her best friend. Her early experiences with employees were teachable moments for her as well and she learned to write it all down—the company’s expectations, acceptable behavior on and off the clock and so on. HR professional Arquella Hargrove said this during an interview; “Hire slow, fire fast” and I never forgot her words because you want to make sure you’re bringing in the right people.
The Need For Specialized Services and Experts
Growth in your new business undoubtedly will have you sailing in unchartered waters if this is your first business. If your cousin was handling your bookkeeping, growth dictates you hire an accounting manager and a CPA. As you hire even more people, you’ll need an IT expert who can build your network, protect your system and keep your employees up and running. And all those new employees will need phones; that’s another specialized service to help manage your growth and business.
When many entrepreneurs and small business owners start their businesses, they tackle marketing and design themselves or contract that work out with some measure of success. But for this next round of growth, it’s very likely that new strategies will need to be created and your design needs will increase. Now there’s internal and external communications to create and distribute and you’ll need a marketing and design expert to help with this growth. Here’s where my team and I can help. Whether it’s a rebranding project or developing a new marketing or advertising strategy or creative services, we are happy to partner with you in this stage of your company’s growth.
Again congratulations on reaching this stage in your business.
So many startups never see profitability and a U.S. State Department study said that 70 percent of all women-owned businesses only generate $25,000 in annual revenue.
You have reason to celebrate.
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