For those running a business, growth is surely a good thing, and it is everything an entrepreneur can expect when launching a startup. Growth is a measure of validation for your hard work, ideas, and business practices. Growth allows business owners to hire more employees, earn more, and fuel the economy.
However, for startups, fast growth can be a path with many pitfalls, and it can get in the way of running the business correctly. Going above your standard sale range can make it hard to keep track of the financials. Such changes will require hiring new employees very fast, which can lead to wrong staffing decisions. The confusion created with finances and staff can, consequently, result in losing touch with the customers.
These are not reasons to avoid growth, as it is undoubtedly beneficial for your company. Here are some tips which will help you avoid the landmines of fast startup growth, and keep your company stable and growing.
Keep your customers first
As we mentioned, one of the dangers of fast startup growth is losing sight of your customers, especially the faithful ones who have been there with you from the start. This could hurt your reputation and make your hard work meaningless in the future.
Instead of sidelining your customers, use the rapid growth as an opportunity to get to know them better and show them they matter. By involving them in key decisions and asking for their feedback about the changes you are making, you will improve retention and get a quality word-of-mouth marketing that can’t be bought with money.
Maintain all valuable relationships
Customers are not the only ones that can suffer as a result of business expansion – so can your employees, partners, and vendors. Make sure you know which relationships will be valuable in the future. Invest in their maintenance with honest communication. Try not to push your employees too hard and create tension by pressuring them. Instead, motivate them to grow alongside your business, and show them how they can benefit from such success.
Make it easier for your team
Hiring new employees is a complicated process and it shouldn’t be done in a helter-skelter manner. It is understandable that you need to expand your team, but it is better to invest some time and effort into interviews and resume scanning before you make the final decision about the new members of your staff. Until then, you should remove some of the burdens of off your team’s shoulders. You can do this by outsourcing some of the areas of your work and by automatizing certain processes. For the start, you can get an affordable and fast helpdesk ticketing system, and then move on to sending email updates, and aggregating bid data. As for the outsourcing, some of the most commonly outsourced areas are accounting and IT.
Work on your branding
Branding is not something you can leave for tomorrow, especially when your business is growing. It is, in fact, something you should have done before you even started the business. If you are not satisfied with the personality and image representing your brand, now is the right time to change it. Unless your company has employees in charge of this important duty, you should leave it to professionals experienced in logo design, social media design, website development, creating portfolios, and search engine optimization.
Focus on scalability
For small startups experiencing rapid growth, scalable management can be the salvation. The scalable quality management system is made up of key business policies and processes which focus on assessing the organization’s general goals and maintaining a minimal level of optimal quality. This means you need to map the key processes, set priorities, and establish timelines which will help you in creating a sustainable management system during the growth period.
Find a mentor
You can be the smartest new entrepreneur in the world. You can be the next Steve Jobs. You can be on your way to rule the business world. But none of this matter unless you have experience in these situations. So, let go of your ego, and find a mentor who has been there before and who can lead you through these traps and help you find your way out of the maze safely.
Keep your finances in check
Growth doesn’t mean money will grow on the trees in front of your offices. In fact, it can require even more investments, in the new workforce, materials, marketing, and similar. Here are five financial aspects you should have in mind when handling a growing business:
- Create a new budget which suits your current situation.
- Understand the cash flow.
- Evaluate new purchases, including equipment, supplies, and similar.
- Plan for employees’ cost (both new and the old, if the workload is bigger the salary should grow with it).
- If needed, seek outside financial help.
A quick startup growth can be exciting, but also overwhelming. If you follow these tips and make other necessary adjustments which will help you adapt to the changing circumstances, you can get the most of the growth, and avoid making the same mistakes many startups before you have made.
Fivenson Studios Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our award-winning team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers. Your advertising message needs to be expressed in a way that captures the imagination and attention of your customers. That’s where we come in.