While it may seem like a dream come true, rapid business growth has been an unwilling cause of demise for numerous business.
It is actually so common in the history of mankind that there is a two-thousand-year-old myth associated with this sudden failure.
Remember Icarus? He tried to escape a barren island by building wings from wax that enabled them to fly.
Enchanted by the Sun, he flew so close to it that it burned his wings and made him plummet into his demise.
This story not only applies to our lives, but also to the lives of our companies.
Once a business becomes profitable, the next step for it is to grow and expand. But if growth becomes too rapid, problems will soon follow.
Companies usually underestimate the huge pressure that comes with rapid growth.
Most of us try to reach that break-even point as fast as possible. Who would even think that growing a business too fast can turn into a downward spiral?
But this can happen, more often than not.
In this article, we will explain how you can prepare for the rapid growth of your company, and how to put muzzles on it so it doesn’t run too fast and lead yourself into a crash.
5 Creative Ways to Handle Rapid Business Growth
1. Know the reason behind it all
If your startup or small business is growing at a rapid pace, you’re clearly on the right tracks. But riding on those tracks without understanding them is a dangerous path to take.
Discover exactly what those tracks are – what differentiates your business from its competitors.
When you find out what this aspect is, put it in a prominent spot in your business model. Losing sight of core values happens a lot during rapid expansion.
Analyze assets, sales, inventory, overheads, and receivables. Once you clearly know where you stand financially, develop a plan on estimating the impact of growth on those factors to find out how you will need to refinance.
This will enable you to dodge any potential liquidation along the road.
2. Have a prepared growth strategy in place
Formulate a growth strategy which will allow you to understand the opportunities and risks that happen as your business grows.
This strategy needs to include internal resources, the overall economy, the market, your competitors, your marketing strategy, demographics and distribution channels.
Marketing strategy is a crucial component of growth strategy because, when correctly prepared and executed, it creates financially sustainable business growth.
Taking notes from Barking Dog Marketing strategy, where correctly prepared marketing blueprint is made with business growth in mind.
When correctly executed, this kind of strategy enables you to effectively reach your customers and manage their conversions in a sustainable way.
Your business will attract enough customers needed for it to continuously turn in profits while simultaneously growing larger at a normal pace.
3. Don’t forget the customers
Discover ways of capturing customer feedback and receiving their impressions.
Watch for reviews on social media, develop customer surveys and encourage phone calls, comments on social media and personal emails whenever customers have questions or want to share their feelings or experiences about your business.
Their critiques and concerns will give you critical insights into what is done correctly and what needs to be improved or focused on.
Using novel technological advancements can also help you with your struggle.
If consumers engage a lot with your website, you can think about using a chatbot.
4. Increase available resources to current staff
When a small company experiences rapid expansion, its staff often ends up with more on their plate than usual.
As a small staff can quickly become overwhelmed with an increased workload, it is wise to back them up with more available resources.
Whether as a bonus for overtime, temporary help or access to outside vendors for tasks like printing proposals, answering phones or other administrative help.
The more your staff get assisted from the outside, the more likely they will handle the growth properly while still keeping up with all their duties on time.
Investing in your employees doesn’t need to always be in a monetary way.
You can always try to meet their needs, and allow them to let off some steam by organizing a team-building event.
A friendly gathering of both the employees and the employer can be quite beneficial for the company spirit.
Getting to know their employer on a more personal level can make them trust you more with any possible problems that might arise.
5. Control costs
A lot of startups and small-business these days fund their journey by taking a business loan, or some alternative form of investment.
Having a month-by-month expense to cover for your initial lending can have a huge impact on your initial earnings, so cost-cutting should be imperative for any new-founded business.
Control any expenses through vigilant planning. Consider using a rigorous streamlining process that addresses overhead costs like equipment, rent, human resources, monthly office supplies, etc.
Develop concrete goals for expense-cutting, put someone responsible in charge to supervise and secure employee buy-in to help with reducing the costs.
Be especially careful about maintaining expenses control during growth spurs where companies often binge with spending.
6. Be flexible
All successful entrepreneurs have one virtue before anything else – being able to adapt to changing ideas and trends.
Like in Bruce Lee’s famous quote: Be formless, shapeless, like water. Your ability to change the direction of your business and test various strategies is one of the most efficient ways to approach the growth stage.
While your business expands, you must become an effective leader that inspires everyone around him. Lead through personal example.
You deserve the right to impact your employees and encourage them to willingly accept and follow you as your business grows.
There will be many challenging decisions on the road, and most of them need adaptability.
If you are unable to be clear-headed when new circumstances develop and leave the old feeling aside, your decision-making process will suffer and become inefficient, ultimately spelling disaster for your business as well as your employees.
To conclude, understand what causes your rapid business growth, stay in touch with your customers, develop a growth strategy in advance and control costs while adding resources to existing staff.
Above all else, become a flexible leader who, while flying near the sun,
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Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing expert who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. He enjoys writing and providing insight based on both practice and theory.