Many view growth as the ideal being chased by every startup in the world, but the cruel fact is that many companies fold because of poorly managed growth as do because of lack of business. Ramping up business means ramp-ups on costs and work, and an unprepared company can crash when new and unexpected bills crush it. Here are four tips to keep ahead of the curve.
A contractor is someone you hire for a specific length of time rather than on a permanent basis or for an unspecified period of time. While contractors are sometimes more expensive than workers in the short term, they come with the advantage of not requiring you to pay them if the work they do slows down or becomes unnecessary. Bringing contractors in for important work projects lets you scale up expertise quickly and without the necessity of a long-term commitment to the employee that can become onerous in later days.
Similar to hiring contractors, renting equipment that you will only need temporarily can cut long-term costs by keeping your physical space usage down and keeping capital from getting tied up in heavy machinery. Renting equipment for a project ensures that you have the tools you need for as long as you need them. Of course, in the modern cloud computing environment, increasing numbers of businesses are also outsourcing functions like IT, storage, and other technology issues. Doing so keeps your in-house IT trim and fit and helps businesses that are not primarily IT-driven avoid carrying too many expensive technologies and staffers.
Growing businesses can too easily lose sight of where they need to be going. Setting a long-term goal is a great way to focus the company on a singular vision, but big-picture goals are often too lofty to guide day-to-day decisions. Instead, try setting up a group of medium-range goals to inform immediate progress. Try to focus on growing a specific product or enhancing one area of the business. If you want to get ambitious, you can set reasonable medium-range goals for each of your departments.
Watch the Customers
Every business in the world has one thing in common, and that is its ultimate dependence on the goodwill of its customers. Businesses deliver products or services to their customers, and these customers either like or dislike what they get. And those customers are often not shy about letting you know where they stand. Sending out customer satisfaction surveys is a reasonable way to gather information, but sending too many or soliciting them too intrusively can make you look pushy. Asking big customers if they have the time for a more personal talk about their experiences is a decent tactic. Moreover, make sure you have a clear route to receive and resolve any complaints.
Growth need not to be a scary thing. A well-prepared company will embrace growth and come out stronger on the other end. Just be sure you have a plan, and things should go seamlessly.