Growth is essential for a business to survive. At the same time, poorly managed growth can be disastrous for a company. If you think about it, you can probably come up with at least one and probably more examples of businesses you liked that seemed to expand too quickly and lost their way. A company might expand its product line beyond its niche and lose the ability to deliver the quality and customer service they were known for, or a restaurant might move to larger premises only to have the food quality decline. This can scare you off ever trying to grow in any significant way, but that approach limits you greatly. The dos and don’ts below can help you expand with a greater likelihood of success.
Do Have the Right Resources
A big reason that many companies falter on expansion is because they grew too quickly without thinking seriously about scaling up. If you expand but don’t purchase the tools or hire the additional staff that you need in order to meet an uptick in demand, you’re not going to be able to provide the same level of quality to customers that you were before. You’ve probably experienced this from the customer side of things yourself, and if you think back, your reaction was probably to quietly move on to another company to get the same level of satisfaction you were previously enjoying. If money is tight, consider applying for a small business loan. This can help you hire the additional staff or buy the additional equipment that you need.
Don’t Outpace Demand
Why are you growing? If the answer is something like because that’s what businesses have to do, you might be on the wrong track. Another answer to beware of is one in which you’re just so enthusiastic about the service or product that you’re dying to expand on it. The biggest problem with these approaches is that they lack the one critical element you need in order to succeed: a demand for expansion. Without that demand in place, you may simply baffle and alienate your customers. Wait for a real increase in demand. Tailor and adjust your marketing budget in accordance with your demand as well. Pay attention closely to times that dictate an increase versus times where you should revamp and scale back.
Do Learn to Delegate
This can be especially hard if you have been a one-person enterprise up to this point, but if you can’t delegate as you grow, eventually, balls will be dropped, and customer or client happiness will drop. You may need to give existing staff new responsibilities or take on new staff when you had none before. If you have a remote home-based business, delegating some administrative tasks to a virtual assistant can free you up to spend time on more lucrative projects.
While it’s true that reacting with an appropriate level of speed and agility is important in business, this is not the same as rushing. Rushing means you’re moving at someone else’s speed, not your own, and rushing during expansion can be fatal to a business. Take the time to do the necessary research and get your infrastructure in place before you expand.