If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, growth may indicate success. Expansion can bring a whole host of benefits, including the potential ability to attract new customers, diversify your offering, create more revenue streams and achieve economies of scale.
However, expansion can also cause disruption, and as your business gets larger, it can become more complex to operate successfully. Avoid some of the pitfalls of growth, such as poor morale, increased pressure on management teams and compromised product and service quality, by following these simple tips:
Maintaining company culture
If you’ve kept a core team in place since the early days, you must be doing something right and it’s important to recognise that. The changes that go hand in hand with business growth, such as moving premises, organisational structure changes and greater levels of delegation, can create upheaval for staff and may make some workers more likely to jump ship. If there are sudden shifts in the company culture too, this can create further unsettlement.
Whether your company culture hinges on a flat organisation structure, your commitment to employee wellbeing or the learning opportunities you offer your personnel, you need to ensure these continue. If you haven’t already, define your company culture now and put practices in place to ensure that it’s maintained as your business grows.
Keeping old values
Whether you pride yourself on your excellent customer service, your commitment to environmental sustainability, your innovative approach or your transparent practices, it’s important not to lose sight of the core values you started out with. If your reputation for customer care suffers as your business grows, for example, you might find yourself losing loyal customers as quickly as you attract new ones.
While you may have found it easy to be flexible as a start-up, as a larger business it can be challenging to react rapidly to changing marketplaces and customer needs. You’ll probably find yourself having to put more processes and systems in place as your business expands, but it’s important to keep things as simple as possible to avoid being restricted by bureaucracy.
Agile leadership is essential too if you’re to grow your business successfully. Business leaders should promote agile collaboration and work to disintegrate any departmental silos that exist. Leaders should also be encouraged to challenge the way the company runs to ensure it stays relevant and competitive in the face of commercial challenges.
While it can be easy to get swept up in the excitement of seeing your company expand, ultimately, it’s important to step back, take stock and plan carefully in times of growth to ensure what made you successful and special as a small business doesn’t get lost as your business expands. To learn more about the journey from start up to big business, read these inspiring stories.