Every entrepreneur is excited about the opportunity of growing their business. A measure of success is something you hope for and dream about. The idea you’ve worked on for years brings value to your customers and is meaningful to you.
Growth brings challenges with it as well. Even though you’ve probably been planning for this moment for a long time, there will always be nuances to the current situation. Flexibility and embracing change are required. As individuals or as part of an established culture, leaders must be able to recognize when things need to change and take action accordingly.
Without acknowledging this, leaders can be tempted into pitfalls that can act as bottlenecks that hinder growth and success. Following are five points to keep in mind when growing your business.
1. Uncertainty about how and when to scale
Before embarking on a business growth journey, much preparation must be done. Growing revenues faster than costs, on the other hand, is an entirely different challenge.
Timing is everything when it comes to scaling up – notably, starting on time and ensuring the process is airtight. Despite scaling your business being exciting, you need to assess your needs, refine your processes, and don’t scale too soon. By doing so, the company will be better positioned for long-term growth.
Standardizing processes, resources, and technology that can be repeatable and reproducible helps businesses become more efficient while freeing up resources for innovation. In addition, a disciplined approach to scaling at the right time will ensure your company’s success.
2. Keeping up with daily responsibilities
The ability to hire people with the expertise needed to bring attention, focus, and skill sets to the business is one of the benefits of growing it. By hiring people with the right skill sets, team members are given the opportunity to own crucial aspects of the business. As a result, they are empowered to do what they do best and rise to the level their organizations require to succeed.
Leaders can focus on the planning, resourcing, and relationship-building aspects of running a business when the right people are in place to sustain and grow it.
3. Making sure every project and task you do matches your vision 100%
Even though I have actual children, my company is my baby. Since its infancy, I have spent countless hours thinking about and researching the best way to optimize our approach and serve our mission. Therefore, I appreciate startup leaders who have a clearly defined vision.
Though the vision may be clear, the reality is that there will be changes throughout the planning and execution phases. Depending on the legal or regulatory requirements, some may be substantial, while others may be more nuanced, such as depending on the audience. So regardless of your vision, be ready to accept that it might need to be tweaked in the future.
A project is considered successful if it matches 80% to 90% of what I envisioned. In the end, you will need to set the path and hire the team to follow it.
4. Ignoring the valuable perspectives of your team
A better way to say this is don’t let your ego run wild. Leaders often mistakenly assume that they know best because they have years of experience, market knowledge, and familiarity with their businesses.
It’s essential to keep in mind that people within your company are hired for their expertise, experience, and diversity of thought. Their perspective is invaluable for objectively assessing the viability of specific trends and assessing needs, such as whether your business has the resources necessary to build a new technology platform.
Our roles as leaders should include remembering that we hire highly qualified people to accomplish specific tasks and bring perspectives that complement and sometimes challenge our own. You cannot grow without hiring people, so learn to trust and empower them.
5. Having the belief that your company culture will never change as you grow
With a team of 10, 15, or 25 members, it is possible to create a culture that feels like a family, and it can be highly empowering and morale-boosting. As the company grows into triple digits and services and capabilities increase and change, so too does the company’s approach to culture. You may find it challenging to grasp the change as a leader.
6. Not making marketing a focal point of your business
There can be no sale without a prospect! You attract prospects by creating a well-thought-out marketing plan. Unfortunately, rather than creating a thoughtful, written, actionable marketing plan, too many small and medium businesses allow “marketing stuff” to happen.
Marketing is all about attracting prospects. Prospects become leads. Leads become potential clients, and potential clients become clients after the presentation! It all begins with marketing.
Show me your monthly and quarterly marketing plan if you want to grow your business. It is not possible without it. In order to motivate and provide the first steps for growing your business, you should develop a marketing plan and implement it monthly.
Change is difficult but necessary. In addition, you can evolve while also staying true to your mission and purpose. The first step is to hire people at all levels who are a good fit for the organization. A range of benefits and flexible work options that suit your team members are also crucial to remaining competitive in the market.
Leaders should remember that change is inevitable and a natural part of growth. Managing culture shifts, scaling your business, and changing the scope of your role are all part of the process. The key to avoiding these pitfalls is to be aware of the need for change and be flexible.