For the vast majority of startup owners, successful growth to secure their business is likely to be a high priority. The trouble is, many entrepreneurs are blinded by the sheer possibilities offered by expansion, and fail to see many of the common problems that can occur during the process. So, before you start kicking off your acceleration project, stop, think carefully, and ensure that you have a plan that is capable of facing up to the standard challenges of expansion. Let’s get started right away.
Change is inevitable in business, but when it comes to growth, that change can occur incredibly quickly. And it will have an impact on your firm, your employees, and your customers. Whereas before you might have been a small company that everyone loved, it can be difficult to keep that environment and those special touches that helped you stand out from the crowd. There will be an enormous amount of uncertainty for your employees, too, which will need to be managed.
Space to work
One second you are a super small, adaptable and flexible business that can operate from anywhere. But a few months down the line, you might have to house dozens – maybe hundreds – more employees. You will need to find new premises, and ensure it is in the perfect location that gives you access to everything you need to keep costs down. It might be worth looking for temporary measures at this point – perhaps renting a big space which will allow you to grow, or building cheaper alternatives such as steel buildings or temporary office spaces. There is a delicate balance to strike, as your business will grow fast, but at the same time, you don’t want to pay for space you aren’t using. Again, ensure you have a proper plan in place to ensure you are on the right path.
The simple fact is that a bigger business needs better operational processes. To ensure the smooth running of your business on a wider scale than it was before, it is critical to sharpening up every area of your business so that everyone remains productive as much as possible.
Many new businesses enjoy fruitful periods and decide to go wild and start to expand. It’s all well and good, of course, but what happens if your success was just a seasonal spike? By the time you hire new employees and find a new, expensive office, there’s a chance you will find out you don’t make the sales to sustain it. The result could be catastrophic.
The leadership team you have in place as a small business might be incredibly successful – in that setting. But as you grow, you might find that your leadership team starts to have trouble. It takes a different kind of experience to run a big company successfully, and there are no guarantees your current team will have it in their locker.
As you can see, there are some significant challenges on the road to expansion. Sound planning and robust financial prudence are absolutely essential if your growth will be a success.