True entrepreneurs are adventurous and bold.
When a company enjoys fast growth, it’s the envy of every other company. However, things aren’t always as they seem.
Fast growth can present difficult challenges for a business, if it isn’t prepared. That goes for any sector – from service businesses to manufacturers.
For instance, rapid growth creates challenges preventing efficient operations or fulfillment of products or services for customers.
If not anticipated and solved, such challenges can lead to drastic losses in market share or even deaths of businesses or being acquired by competitors at fire-sale prices.
The good news is that there are proven strategies that will help a company succeed during unexpected business growth.
Here are the five strategies for success:
1. Flexibility planning for all contingencies
Sure, it’s great to plan for the short-term and to dream for ultimate success. Strategic planning should include needs between the short-term and long-term.
That means developing strategies for flexibility in involving financial, human resource capital, and operational elements of your business. It also requires being prepared for course-correcting.
2. Honing skills for satisfying customers
You will succeed if you keep your customers happy. That’s easier said than done. So, plan for growth in delivering products and services with scalable back-end procedures and structures.
Where startups fall short is not adequate planning to provide the quality products and services in a timely fashion, and all while meeting the expectations of their customers.
Many founders are so busy putting out fires to manage customer demands, they don’t delegate or timely increase the size of their workforce in order to satisfy customers.
What they should be doing is to develop solid operations checklists.
Again, businesses lose profits because they inconvenience customers. This not only results in lost revenue, but tarnished branding and narrower profit margins, too.
So, make certain your company doesn’t become high maintenance to your customers.
3. Financial planning
Don’t forget your necessary financial tools. Start with a finance checklist for strategic planning for growth.
Just because you might experience new revenue from unexpected growth, it does not necessarily result in good cash flow and profits.
So, at the least it necessitates that you determine your break-even point.
You should know your full operating costs as you grow as well as your daily needs for capital. Plan to increase cash flow and profits.
4. Knowing which customers are profitable
Savvy business owners know who their ideal clients or customers are.
You can’t make profits from every customer. Some customers pay too slowly. Others may be too hard to please. So be prepared to drop such customers.
This, of course, means knowing your four profit drivers – they are what drive your profit.
5. Develop your company’s leadership
Finally, your success will be largely determined by your leadership and team. You will need vision and flexibility to deal with obstacles that evolve from growth.
Whatever your situation in pursuing growth, the mindset and best practices in strategic leadership means maintaining a delicate balance – preparing for details and keeping an open mind regarding business uncertainty.
So, you must have the right mindset and use best practices in strategic leadership.
You will also need to recruit and hire the right people to successfully scale upward. Therefore, hone your talent-recruitment strategies.
Then, plan to develop employees as strong leaders to help your business grow efficiently and enjoy excellent profits. That’s because, as role models, they’ll be instrumental in helping you develop a performance culture.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are complementary strategies:
Strategies to Measure, Boost Your Business Performance — If healthy revenue and profit margins are your goal, you must determine the critical factors that lead to success. In essence, business is war in commerce. In order to win, you must know how, why and when to attack.
For Profits, Manage Your Growth at the Right Pace — Entrepreneurs frequently try to rush their business growth. Certainly, growth is great but if you scale too fast, you’re looking for trouble. The key is to prepare.
8 Change Management Tips for an Unpredictable Marketplace — For a business to win despite facing an unpredictable marketplace, there are eight strategies to implement. Among the key concepts to remember: Double-down on effective management.
Tips for Strategic-Thinking in Finance: Your Staff, Individuals — Many companies want accountants and finance professionals who are strategic thinkers. But that’s not happening at most companies. Here are tips for managers and employees.
10 Red Flags Your Business Needs Strategic Planning — Many entrepreneurs are so busy putting out fires, they fail to take care of business in two ways. They fail to plan strategically and they don’t make marketing a priority each day.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”