When you hear about success stories in business, it seems like the perfect time to start making strides in your own endeavors. What you may fail to realize is that growth in business is not an automatic path to success. Like any other step, you need to manage your growth to avoid buckling under the added responsibilities and expenses you take on.
Here is some valuable advice to figure out how exactly to do this.
Planning your growth
Part of running a business is coming up with goals—this is pretty basic knowledge. This can include the longer term goals like your ultimate plans for your business, and the short-term goals, such as various skills and milestones you can develop in short periods of time. What you may fail to realize when you’re planning out your goals is that there is an intermediate series of goals that you need to create as well. Medium goals are a set of 3-to-5 year goals that are the stepping stones to your long-term vision.
Why are medium-term goals so important when you are into the growth stage? For one, many people who start growing their business fall into the trap of switching gears too often as they try to meet their long-term goals, using up the resources that they have amassed from early success. Medium-term goals prevent this from happening by providing something that your short-term goals can work towards.
If you’re having a bit of trouble figuring out exactly how to start putting these different goals together, a growing business is a perfect time to bring on a mentor. A mentor has many different roles for a business at this stage, in both professional and personal ways. This can include helping you guide your business strategy, leverage their network to boost yours, or even be someone to talk to when it comes to managing your work/life balance. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can get by without any advice. Even the biggest names in business have used mentors to help them out, and kept them in their circle well after the transitional period. In fact, depending on the nature of your business, you may even want to have more than one mentor. Sometimes bouncing the different pieces of advice off of each other will give you a better picture.
It’s 2018, and nearly every business has a technology component to it. It’s almost impossible to function without a website to present information to your clients and possibly even generate lead at the very least. Many companies even have a blog on their site to keep tier clients in loop. If you’re not the most tech savvy individual, having an SEO or design team to determine what is the most suitable type of website is a must. Many companies turn to hosting WordPress with DreamHost since they also offer services to back up your blog and design help.
Managing your success
Once you’ve begun planning out the various aspects of your growth plan, you’re going to want to start putting things into action, but you will need to adjust as well. One of the major areas where you will want to do so is with your employees. Think about it. Do you currently have the staff you need to handle the goals you set out for yourself? For example, if you are planning to take on more customers, what 2 people may be able to handle may suddenly be a job for a team of 10. Not only do you need to step up your hiring efforts, but you will also want to evaluate your current employees to see if they are a good match for the expanded work. This will be a tough balancing act—keeping current employees assured while bringing on several new people.
At the same time, you need to be ready to change your mentality as well regarding your employees. The larger the business, the more you need to delegate. A lot of startup culture revolves around wearing many hats, but there is a limit to how effective you can be in this capacity. Start looking among your current employees for people who have managerial potential. If you find your current employees wanting in this area, get ready to start hiring with this in mind.
By the same token, you need to be ready for the concept of addition by subtraction. As your business grows, you will want to remove various aspects of your business to streamline operations. In one example, Donna Morris, senior VP for HR at Adobe, eliminated performance reports altogether to try and remove tedium to free up man-hours for more productive activities. From procedures to even certain customer groups, you shouldn’t be afraid to remove things to try and free up resources towards the next step of your goal.
Growing your business is one of the most exciting times as a business owner, allowing you to finally start reaping the benefits of your hard work and planning. While these tips are essential for making sure that your growth stays a positive, don’t be afraid to take a brief moment to pause and pat yourself on the back. After all, many businesses never make it this far, so you’re clearly doing something right already.