Strategies in Dealing with Fast Growth

The comforting sounds that let you know your business is taking off are multiple; the buzz and chatter in the office, the polyphony of the phones, the rumble in the coffers; the general hum of activity.

But new startups and small businesses, while focusing their efforts on collective success, need to also make sure that the growth spurts are tempered and well managed.

Because patterns of production, of customer service and of management are still in their relative infancy within the startup, it is easy for those processes to experience sharp bumps, hitches, and breakdowns.

You can reply on other sounds to notify you of that as well; conversations will become strained, voices get hoarse, arguments break out.

“Over-growth” for a young business can manifest itself in several different ways.

It may be that your production capacities cannot meet the demand you have accrued. It may be that you don’t have the requisite skills in your staff to be able to produce the kind of work that you begin to need. It may be that you simply don’t have enough staff in-house. It may also be that your technical resources can’t deal with the new loads and amounts of data that you are now being asked to cope with.

Another increasingly common problem for contemporary businesses is that the gradual dismantling of borders for trade has opened up many more markets. This is a fantastic thing, but only really as long as the business is mobile and agile.

So, if you’re a young business experiencing unpredictable growth which you are struggling to get a harness on, you may want to think of these potential aids to your situation;

Recruit Freelance Resource

If you’re struggling to meet new client demands in terms of production scale and/or volume, using experienced, flexible and specifically-skilled freelancers is a great way to scale up your team in the short term. These freelancers do not necessarily have to be based on site; in a virtual world you can avoid the concomitant overheads and such like by making use of flexible and remotely-based workers.

As well as bringing on board those specific skills you need, they can bring extremely useful knowledge of other similar projects they have been involved with which can add a completely different perspective to your lines of thinking and approach.

Cloud Compute

If your servers are buckling at the weight of the extra project work and data loads you are being tasked to work through, it can be an excellent idea to make the move – partial or complete – to the Cloud.

Moving to the Cloud and using simplified IT management tools like this one can seriously help your business cope if the infrastructure you already have in place has limited capacity. If your servers and memory and, as a result of this overload, struggle to deal with the various applications your business uses on a daily basis, then as long as you are careful with the security issues involved, shifting data to the Cloud can really take a load off.

Train

If you are able to foresee the growth forks coming up in the road ahead, then a wily small business manager will make sure current staff are given the extra training in advance so that when the sea change comes, then that current staff can move with the tide. As a manager you will then have more confidence when it comes to the inevitable delegation and dividing up of project work.

Poach

If you are going to need really specific skills and staff who know the nature of your business and clients in-depth, then logically the best place to go is to your direct competitors.

Although this can be ethically difficult to negotiate, it is a tried and tested means of bolstering your resources with the most suitably skilled and informed staff. By bringing staff in from the most similar of companies, you are giving your own the best chance of continued growth and, most crucially of all, stability to underpin that growth.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by on Jul 5 2013. Filed under Small Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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