While things may look chaotic at the start of a growth cycle, it shouldn’t be a trait of growing small businesses. In this article, we share steps that you can take to avoid growth chaos. When done well, it can lead to cost-effective solutions in managing growing pains. Instead of being faced with growth or decline, it’ll be grow-and-prosper. Every growth achieved will be a catalyst for the next.
Chaos denotes a state of change. People are confronted with new challenges, in this instance as a result of growth. They have to move out of their comfort zones and take on new tasks. As a leader, it is your responsibility to underscore your commitment to the vision, continue rallying the team behind it to achieve sustainable success. At the same time, you need to exude the confidence that the new boundaries being crossed are not beyond anyone’s capabilities.
They’ve been there for you since you started. Perhaps like you, they were hungry for business too. On some occasions, they went out of their way to give you the best you need to soar. Unless they have kept pace with your growth, some may struggle to cope with the new demands and expectations of your growing business. Be they your accountant, marketing agency or stationery supplier. Ascertain their ability to deliver to meet your growing needs.
A major contributor to chaos in a growing business is poor cash flow management. Sometimes it can get so busy that the ins-and-outs of cash are overlooked. Don’t! As a growing business, things can get very fluid, cash movements included. Institute the discipline of cash flow forecast. It can be empowering knowing when and where the money is going out and coming in. It frees you to undertake commitments that will fuel the growth.
There will be new demands and expectations placed on your growing business. You’ll need to meet them and rise to the challenge. Today, technology is a great enabler. Automation of business functions and processes is a swipe-and-click-away. But there’ll be new functions you will have to introduce to remain competitive, not just less chaotic. For example, in the past, you can rely on your entrepreneurial instinct. Moving forward, you will need to turn to business intelligence to ensure the next move generates the desired returns.
Growth can make you feel invincible. After all, not every business makes it past the first 5 years. There’s a tendency to feed this confidence with new ventures, new expansion plans. Learn to say “no”. Growth indigestion is a silent killer. Revisit your vision and mission as frequently as you need to.
Growth is exciting. However, if poorly managed, it can lead to chaos. A strategic business plan to drive sustainable growth is important.