Should I grow my business?
Avoid problems during business growth
There are many reasons why a growth strategy can cause problems for a business. Common challenges of growth include:
- poor market research
- insufficient planning
- drop in customer service levels
- lack of control
- inadequate management systems
- staff morale affected by increased workloads
Below are some key pieces of advice to help you overcome the challenges and problems associated with growth.
Plan your business growth
Poor planning is one of the main obstacles to growing a business. You should research the market you intend to break into thoroughly and don't set your sights too high.
Financial planning is also vital. You have to invest money up front during the growth phase and the return on that investment can take a while to be realised. See more on financing growth and how to prepare a business plan for growth.
Maintain business relationships
It is also important that you don't forget to look after your existing customers while you are looking for new ones. Your competitors won't stop trying to take business away from you. Make sure you maintain your customer service levels and communicate with your customers regularly if it's appropriate to do so.
Another common problem during business growth is poor control, especially in the supply chain. The relationship with your suppliers is likely to be under strain during the growth phase. You may require increased stock, raw materials and other assets, so you need to ensure you have systems in place to manage all of these.
Manage and motivate staff
Employees are important in any business, but during the growth phase, you may need to hire additional staff. It is vital that you get the right people, so allocate enough time and resources to select skilled staff and train your new recruits.
You will also need to manage your existing staff carefully to ensure that your growth strategy doesn't lower their morale. To lead your staff through growth, communicate with them regularly, be clear on what you are trying to achieve and what you expect from them.
Manage your own workload
Finally, when a small business grows, the owner's workload increases. The larger the business, the more time it takes to manage it. Consider which of your tasks you can delegate to other members of your staff in order to free up your time to concentrate on key issues.
See more tips on how to grow your business successfully.