In business, growth is often the goal. Generally, businesses experience slow growth in their formative years, allowing leaders to scale incrementally. But this is not always the case.
Rapid growth can occur when a product or service hits the market and takes off unexpectedly. Business owners should consider this possibility in their business planning, to know what to do should rapid growth occur.
Here are three common strategies you might consider, when preparing for rapid growth.
Invest in your employees
One of the smartest investments you can make is in human capital. Your employees represent your brand so hiring the right people is important – at all levels. It is this team who you have to rely on when demand increases and rapid growth occurs. Take the time to find people who will be the right fit for years to come. This might mean outsourcing some critical functions, opening up the hiring process to a broader audience, or reviewing resumes a second or third time.
Similarly, when the company scales up the leadership team must also grow. Don’t feel the need to fill positions with people who have been there since the beginning just to show your thanks. Find the right fit for each position. You should also be very self-critical here. It’s natural for the founder to take the utmost leadership role as the business scales up, however you must think about what would be best for the company. Think about your strengths and where they would best fit the essential functions of the operations.
Know how to manage your money
As your company grows from a startup to a long-term viable corporation, you will need to manage your revenue, as well as accounts payable and receivable closely. Consider consulting with a business advisor to discuss your financial strategy.
Also allow a contingency sum for unforeseen costs. For instance, you may need to quickly ramp up inventory to deal with increased demand. This can also involve purchasing more production equipment, leasing more office space, or investing in other infrastructure and technology.
There may also be cash flow challenges experienced during or after expansion. Upon initial increased demand and any necessary expansion, the company may need to spend money to make money and fulfil orders. Additional financing may be required until demand is met. An experienced business advisor will be able to assist you in developing an appropriate financing structure.
Prepare to improvise
It is likely that you will need to adjust your business plan to cope with the rapid growth. There may be factors that fall by the wayside, such as a marketing campaign that isn’t completely fulfilled or employee hiring that hits a snag. Regardless, you will need to be agile and evolve.
Prioritisation will be important. Make sure employees and customers are your top priority. Employees are your company’s backbone, and customers, as always, are king – and they should be treated as such because they will provide the feedback that will drive further development and return sales.
Rapid growth occurs if a product or service is particularly in demand. But, with some foresight and support from experienced advisors, this doesn’t need to be a period of difficulty.
Contact your local Bentleys advisor. We can help you to design a strategy, manage business growth, and get you where you want to be.