Business Growing Pains
I met a lady at a recent business expo who told me a common story, the story of business growing pains.. I always get excited when I see a business that has been developed and is expanding rapidly as the market resonates with the product or service being offered. The challenges to business when they are in fast growth mode are many, and in this case the pain was clear.
The company offered a service for a very clear niche market. They catered to the vegan market and provided services to their target customers. As can happen, when a quality service is offered to a very specific niche, the business can explode as people take up the opportunity to work with them. This is very much the case and this business has gone from a headcount of five to 30 in 12 months. Without a clear strategy, the pressures and stress was enormous and the result was pain being experienced at multiple levels.
Being a clear specific, the company had attracted like-minded people as employees, but their passion and commitment as vegans was not enough to compensate for the stress and pressure of their roles and turnover of staff was now occurring.
The problems that existed were:
- As the business grew, the people didn’t. The capability of the key people didn’t grow in line with the increasing complexity of their roles.
- There was a lack of clarity around roles.
- Communication was not clear, causing work and services to be re-done and fixed.
- There were no processes in place, no systems and no reviews taking place.
- The business demand was running them, and placing real demands on the team.
- Customer needs are often unmet or missed opportunities due to the daily need to be putting out fires and fixing mistakes.
The pain was real.
When sniffing the potential of any business with a view to grow, you need a clear picture of what you want your business to look like, in 12months and in five years. Once you have enabled that vision, you need plans to meet that vision. In many ways, it is a case of growing the business in capability, before you can maximise the growth. This is tough for businesses and if you are caught in a fast-growing business and the associated maelstrom that exists, we would suggest doing the following.
- Take time out of the business. Immediately. You need to get your head out of your business and have a look from the helicopter perspective.
- Identify your primary needs and concerns. You may have an objective view of this, but it is also important to discuss and get input from your team.
- Often, the problems cannot be fixed by the people fighting the fires. Don’t be proud or delusional in your approach. Call in the right external help to help fix your primary needs. Undertaking a training program on customer service, will not fix a lack of process around the service component.
- Identify roles and job specifications. This will benefit everyone. Once a team member knows exactly what their role is, they are better placed to execute it.
We offer a free business diagnostic to help you identify your primary needs within your business. We have helped many businesses overcome growing pains, pause and implement a strategy that grows more effectively and efficiently that what they have previously been doing.
You aren’t alone, yet many will battle on alone, affecting their health and their family situations. Contact us today and we walk (or run) the journey with you. Sniff out the business growing pains.