Your company is in a growth phase and you have decided to grow to the next level. Fantastic, but that usually does not go without a struggle. Compare it to the situation you were in during the start-up phase of your company, but then more complex, grander and usually involved with larger investments. Fortunately, you are not the only one who has to deal with these types of growing problems. That is why I have listed seven characteristic growing pains during the scaling up of your company in this blog.
1) Let Go, Give Space To Grow
You may recognize it, growing children in the ‘can I do’ phase. Even though it takes many times longer, they want to tie their shoelaces or make their own sandwich. Many entrepreneurs have never left ‘wanting to do it themselves’. Your company is ‘your baby’ and this makes it so difficult to relinquish control. But it applies to almost everything, only if you give something space it can grow. So start letting go!
2) Lack Of Insight Into Feasibility
Scaling up to the next level requires an investment, which is why it is important to map out exactly what the potential and costs are and to what extent the current capacity can realize this growth. The number of employees, the assets, the available office space and the ability to standardize business processes are all variables that determine the growth potential. If you want to double, triple or even more your turnover, insight into feasibility is essential.
3) Finding A New Structure
It is a pitfall to continue to work according to the old structure during growth. You probably know the statement: “If you keep doing what you did, you will get what you got”. You need good support, a streamlined process and automated systems. By professionalising you give your company all the tools to grow.
4) Dealing With Risk
Being in a growth phase often also means more and perhaps larger customers, higher amounts and higher requirements. Retaining these customers is very important, because your operating costs are based on this and must of course be paid. In addition, you are no longer only responsible for your own income, but also that of your team. These kinds of risks can weigh heavily.
5) Do You Have The Right People Around You?
When your company is experiencing a growth spurt, you need more people who compliment you, who you trust and who help your company grow further. But what are the right people to surround you with, what are their capacities and what function do these team members have? It can be difficult to define this if you don’t know exactly what your company needs yet. There are several ways to make this transparent. Decide which tasks you want to get off your plate and research which type of person is right for you. You can do this by means of an Insights profile or Disc profile. The result is linked to a color and with this you can estimate whether this person suits you and your company. Don’t rush the recruitment of new team members, you’d better spend a little more time selecting the right person than finding out later that you don’t have “the right guy in the tent.” This costs you a lot more time and energy.
6) Maintain Your Original Entrepreneurial Mindset
As a single person or owner of a small business you were flexible and could respond quickly to changes and opportunities in the market. As soon as your company grows larger and there is more structure in the working method, the challenge is to maintain this. So get started on time with the next step in your company. Before you know it, you are no longer flexible and the competitor is ahead of you in taking advantage of the opportunities in the market. You can also see: Reade Milner interviews 10x marketing expert Kurt Uhlir.
7) Generate A Constant Customer Flow
When you have formed your new company structure, it is of course important that the customer flow continues. This requires a smart online marketing strategy, for example to increase your brand awareness , to become easier to find and to generate leads. An in-house marketing and communication department is an option, but you can of course also outsource your online marketing activities.
What Can You Do To Relieve Growing Pains?
- Step back in order to be able to work on your business and think about strategy. Getting carried away in operational activities can be very tempting, but it causes a backlog in the medium to long term.
- Find entrepreneurs who are in a similar phase to spar with. Entrepreneurs who have already successfully completed this growth phase are also interesting to talk to. They have already walked the road that you are heading towards. Very educational to exchange ideas with these types of entrepreneurs.
- Where possible, try to outsource work externally. This reduces the business risk, the fixed costs and you can be sure that the tasks are carried out professionally.