Many business owners try to do everything themselves. Even when they hire staff and delegate, they tend to run themselves ragged. This sets them up for failure during periods of rapid business growth, if they can’t keep things together. Here are a few tips on how to keep it together as a leader while experiencing rapid growth, no matter what business you’re in. You’ll want to follow them at any and every stage of growth so that your dreams don’t become a nightmare.
Know Why You’re Growing
If your business is experiencing rapid growth, it is essential to know why it is happening. Why are people suddenly flocking to your business? Understand what you’re doing that separates you from the competition, so you don’t lose your unique edge and accidentally become like everyone else. You also don’t want to expand your business if the sudden spike is likely to pass.
Keep Short and Long-Term Goals in Mind
Business owners should have short-term and long-term goals. Don’t focus on growing the customer base long-term and lose sight of short-term goals like cash flow or profitability. Remember long-term goals, such as paying down debt and increasing your net worth.
It could be as simple as ensuring you don’t live off minimum wage while trying to grow your business. If necessary, grow the business more slowly so that you continue to earn a profit, pay yourself a living wage and don’t go deeper into debt.
You can also look at long-term goals for the business. Don’t over-invest in new ventures and neglect your flagship stores or main product line. Remember your mission and let go of things that are no longer part of that mission.
Get Enough Sleep
It may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. It isn’t uncommon for people to try to solve this dilemma by staying up later, waking up earlier, or both. But, whatever you do, make sure that you don’t neglect your health. Especially your sleep.
According to this Small Business Trends post on the best mattresses, insufficient sleep hurts your productivity, creativity, and focus after a single night. Fail to get enough sleep night after night and it will adversely affect your health, as well.
The quality of your sleep will affect you. Back and neck pain, because you have a bad mattress, will distract you at work. Waking up or tossing and turning means the eight hours you spent in bed resulted in just five or six hours of sleep. Consider a quality mattress an investment in your business as well as your quality of life.
But, what can you do about the growing workload? Create to-do lists. Don’t feel bad about not getting everything done each day but do delegate as much as you can. Then let it all go when you go to bed.
Focus on the Customer Experience
Every process and procedure should be tied to the customer in some way, and they should all be evaluated from the perspective of the customer’s experience. How fast and easy is the checkout process? How seamless is the return process if someone is unhappy with the product? Does customer service meet customer expectations, whether they want to place an order or need tech support?
When a company is experiencing rapid growth, do everything you can to prevent the customer’s experience from suffering. It can be hard to get new salespeople, customer service reps, and technicians on board in time to meet the load. However, you need to be careful not to neglect customers.
Don’t let automated answering systems or sitting on hold become the norm. Ensure that new hires are trained to meet the same high standards you had for customer service that attracted customers to the business in the first place.
Don’t run yourself ragged trying to do everything yourself. Get expert advice when you need it, whether it is for your taxes, legal disputes or design of a new product. Hire assistants and middle managers as the organization grows. Bring in tools and systems that help everyone do their job more effectively. Then shift to overseeing the organization and planning its future instead of doing it all yourself.
Small business owners are often eager to grow. Approach the expansion with the right mindset and a plan so that you can enjoy the benefits that come with growth.
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