When you first start your own business, you have only dreams of future growth in your mind. However, rapid expansion is not exclusively positive thing, since if not controlled properly, it can bring you to ruin. Still, in the early 21st century, every so often it happens that a startup is met with overnight success and immediately transferred to the big league. There however, same rules do not apply. Because of this, here are few tips and tricks that may help small businesses cope with sudden growth.
Increasing your staff
A first major obstacle you will face once you go big is that your number of clients is going to significantly increase. More clients is always a good thing, right? Wrong! This just means that you will have much more work to do, but your capabilities will remain pretty much the same. Sure, you can always add more people to your staff, but it will take them some time until they start being productive on a level that your client will deem satisfactory. Now, even though most claim that it takes new employee 6 months to become productive, they won’t reach their full productivity for at least a year. In order to deal with this successfully, you need to plan far ahead, and start grooming new employees before you actually need them. Establishing a great training program might also be a sound plan.
Moving to a new office
Now, when you start hiring additional people, you will naturally need more room in your office. What this means is that it is time to move to a bigger place. Moreover this will be an ideal opportunity to redesign your office so that it boosts everyone’s productivity. Different colors can affect our minds in different ways, same as office layout can influence our general mood. For example, aggressive red can be a great asset to your sales team and it serves as a perfect theme for your meeting room. On the other hand, calming yellow and inspiring green are perfect focus enhancers.
Still, one of the most recommended things to do is pay equal attention to both work and resting area. In order to be able to focus on task at hand, your employees need a place that will allow them to recharge their batteries. Because of this, you should pay equal amount of attention to both choosing quality work desks for your office and adequate café tables for your break room.. Both Foursquare and Tumblr headquarters are perfect examples of this.
Refusing additional work
Another problem that increase in clients will bring is that you will have a rough time meeting all the deadlines. Every client, will require more work, which just means another deadline and missing your deadlines or even worse- failing to deliver a service of expected quality, will earn you a bad reputation in no time. This kind of bad rep will haunt you wherever you go, and it is something that even major conglomerates have difficulties to shake off let alone startup. For this reason, you need to keep it real and be always aware of your possibilities. So, if this means turning down some of the work, it is something that simply needs to be done.
Still, more work can almost always be met with better organization. With this in mind, you need to rearrange the way your office works. You can do this in two ways. Once you have more people working for you, it would be impossible to supervise them all personally which means that you will have to appoint some people as team leaders. These leaders will work as conduits of all information that circulates around office and if they do their job right you will be well informed of everything relevant that is going on in your office. Second organization idea would be to entrust a part of these responsibilities to a software and thus save everyone’s time and effort to be better used elsewhere.
There is one additional thing that may help here. Even though most of these software are completely invaluable for your startup they can sometimes be quite expensive. However, it is possible for one to completely run a small business on an open source software. The difference in performance is often barely noticeable but the reduction of expenses can be truly astounding.
Be careful with your investments
Finally, there is one more thing that you need to have in mind when you profit starts increasing. Sure, you will have to invest in order to continue growing, but you don’t want to allow your investments to deplete your budget before they start paying off. Once again, you need to be realistic about both your needs and your possibilities and act accordingly. After all, your business is there to make profit, which means that all of this can be brought down to a simple equation. In part about increasing your staff we talked about planning as far ahead as you can but when it comes to investing, you need to take it day by day. Some innovation will pay off in several years but it could also ruin you in a month.
As you can see, business growth is a volatile ground to say at very least. Because of this, you have to be very careful and extremely systematic. Growth brings change and it is only your ability to adjust to these changes that will determine the success of your business. With this in mind, you need to expand your capabilities in time, use everything that could help (even if it is something as simple as office design) and of course, be careful about future investments.