Are you controlling growth – or just letting it happen?

Part of any business owners dream is to have rapid growth and an influx of business.  But increased demand puts pressure on your systems, people and cashflow.

So, how do you handle an influx of business?  Have you been able to maintain the same level of customer experience?  Have you made any changes in how you service your customers?  Do you have a strategy for growth?

This was the topic discussed by members of the Business Exposure Group at our recent meeting.

Some of the barriers to growth are – lack of business plans / muddled marketing / running the business in the same old way / meddling and misspent time / wrong objectives based on just sales / no financial strategy and poor controls.

Check your systems, processes and procedures are up to date and adopt a proactive management approach with a quality control system where everyone uses the ‘same scripts’.  The ability to grow must be influenced by your willingness to devolve certain decisions to staff.  You must have a strategic plan for the short, medium and long term growth of the business.

To achieve growth – invest in ‘safe bets’ / identify strategies with a good probability of success / start with core business and eliminate secondary products on a regular basis.

Good information equals good decisions.  Can you deal with a sudden influx of orders with no way to fulfil them?

First of all spend time finding out what is causing growth and understand why your company is suddenly getting more business, as this is could be important to many of your future decisions.  It is also important to understand the reasons why business is slowing down.

One way to overcome barriers to growth is to invest in staff development.  Try to plug the skills gap in your business to move your business up a level.  Identify staff responsibilities and make sure you employ and retain the right people.

Be careful not to expand too quickly, look at whether you are growing to be more profitable or is it growth for growths sake.

Many fast growing companies change their goals too often; they never quite complete a plan before starting the next one, and because of this will get into all sorts of difficulties when business growth stalls.  It’s important to retain the culture of your business when taking on new staff.  Be careful not to let them dilute the personality of your business.

Ask yourself when looking at growth:

  • Do I have the qualities and diversity of people
  • Do I have systems in place
  • Do I have the ability to delegate
  • Do I have enough cash

And finally, ensure that it is not your mind set that is holding your business back.

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