Every entrepreneur welcomes business growth.
In fact everyone (from founders, to investors and media outlets) loves high-growth companies that quickly learn how to crawl, walk and run. However, there are pitfalls and challenges associated with premature scaling; growing before you are ready.
Instead, startups should aim for sustainable growth. According to Grasshopper.com, “Finding the right level of sustainable growth is one of the first essential steps an entrepreneur needs to consider and think through before ever opening the doors for business.”
But if you find yourself hiring too many employees too fast, spending too much on customer acquisition before your product and/or service is ready or boosting marketing spending without analyzing core metrics consider these ten tips to stay sane when faced with fast business growth:
1. Create a sustainable process.
“In order to create and successfully handle growth, you must create a sustainable process, hire amazing people, and be persistent about your work on a daily basis. Without processes you will waste your precious energy; if you don’t have great people around you it will be difficult to share responsibilities in your growing company. If you’re not willing to put in the work you won’t be ready for the next opportunity…”
2. Don’t assume you know everything.
“If you don’t assume you have everything figured out, then the growth will continue. Keep your head down, keep innovating, and listen to your customers for long-term, sustained success.”
3. Stay focused on the future.
“Keep your head down and focus on two or three short-term victories with the ultimate goal in the back of your head. Think about swimming across a fast-moving river. The goal is to get to the other side; if you stop to see where you are, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed, succumbing to the current.”
4. Create (and delegate to) new management roles.
“As my company expanded I did my best to anticipate our new needs and took the necessary steps to be ready for them before they hit. Sometimes I had to bring on new people, but mostly preparedness and organization called for a restructuring of our internal hierarchy in order to distribute responsibility. Initially, everyone answered to me. Expanding meant creating new management responsibilities for my employees, alleviating some of my pressure and allowing us to be more efficient.”
5. Outsource and get organized.
“Trust people to help you. Hire or contract professionals that can both save you time and keep you from making silly mistakes, whether they’re a freelancer, accountant, or mentor. I would also suggest becoming good friends with your local business banker. Finally, get organized. Having documented practices and checklists helps the people you hire complete repeatable tasks faster and possibly at a higher quality—further allowing you to focus more on your business.”
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