If your business is growing fast, you may relish the new opportunities growth presents, and your hard-working staff may be thriving under the pressure. But once the thrill wears off, it can be hard to sustain the extra effort required to keep the business functioning at top speed.
To help you steer the course and keep your business functioning in a sustainable way, here are some of the most common challenges faced by growing companies, and some tips to help you avoid them.
One of the most thrilling but also daunting things you’ll have to get accustomed to when your company starts to expand is that all of a sudden you have more customers relying on you to deliver your product or service.
Reassess Your Business Partnerships
Complacency is a trap at this stage in the story of your business, and so is—unfortunately—the attitude that once you’ve started a contract with a certain business partner, you should stick with them.
Many small business owners start out using the services or friends or acquaintances for the sake of convenience, or to strengthen connections. But once your business grows, it’s crucial that you reassess those business contracts, and ensure that you’re always working with companies that offer the best value, and can guarantee the product or service you need.
Whereas when you first set up your company, you may have a few disgruntled customers to deal with if you have a breakdown or maintenance issue, for instance, now something like a pipeline failure could cost you an immense amount of business and profits. When you know that an unexpected issue could spell disaster for your business, it’s crucial to have reputable business partners you can rely on at every stage of your operations, from suppliers to contractors and I.T management. For example, sourcing your pipes from china steel pipe manufacturers could make a massive difference to your operation because of the top quality product, while a local, smaller manufacturers may be less reliable.
Lack of Space
Producing more product or serving a wider customer base could mean that you need more floor space, both in terms of production and operations. You’re probably in the process of recruiting more talent for your team, or hiring extra contractors to tide you over until your team is able to cope with the extra demand. This means you may need to rethink your business premises. That said, it’s not easy to get leases for offices at the drop of a hat, especially if your company is relatively new. Ten-year leases are standard if you want to get a cost-effective deal, but most emerging businesses are not in a position to sign on for that long. If this is your first significant phase of growth, you might like to wait a while before signing on the dotted line, as demand could still level out, or suddenly drop off for a while, before picking up again.
Look into Flexible Workspace Options
Consider real estate offerings that prioritize over upfront investment. This might mean investing in temporary warehousing rather than expanding your commercial property, or getting a host of coworking memberships for your newest staff until you’re in a position to expand your own office.
Whether you’re excited by the new challenges or a little intimidated, these tips will help your business steer the course through this first growth spurt.