3 Pitfalls of Scaling Up Your Business Growth and
How To Avoid Them.
Depending on who influences your business thinking, you will either believe that rapidly scaling up your business growth is a good thing or you will view it as a negative thing. Many people believe that rapid or gazelle growth is confined to start ups, particularly those in the tech sector, and therefore is not something that they would even consider. The fact is, that rapid growth is possible in almost any business sector and environment. It really depends on your dream, desire and drive.
From my research, rapidly scaling up your business growth is a very good thing, however that same research has shown there to be a number of serious pitfalls. Rapid business growth or any business growth for that matter should be an integral part of your overall strategy not a random series of uncontrollable events which sweep you forward. This type of uncontrolled growth will generally lead to disaster as quickly as the growth occurs.
I have listed 3 pitfalls to scaling up your business growth and have provided some solutions as to how you can avoid them.
#1 – Rapid Growth Can Force You Into The Fast Lane Before Your Business Is Growth Ready
The risk of being forced into the fast lane before your business is growth ready is high due to the pressure to grow and is the main cause of failure for businesses looking to grow rapidly. You or the staff you currently have may lack the skills necessary to run and manage a larger organisation. You may not have the capabilities to deal with the competition you will encounter at the next level within your industry. You may have funding short falls or capacity issues.
Scaling up your business to ensure rapid and sustainable growth needs skillful attention and focus, not wishful thinking and random actions.
#2 – Rapid Growth Can Create New and Unforeseen Risks and Unintended Consequences
The growth of any business is generally accompanied by investment in people, technology, office or work space, increase in supply and possibly equipment. The implications on cash flow and finances in general can be severe if these are not carefully watched and managed. These are potential unintended consequences as you increase your staff compliment and as you bring new clients, produces and services on board.
New staff my not easily fit into your business culture or existing staff my feel challenged by the new recruits. Your existing clients may think you are becoming too distant and may not like the person who is now looking after them. New products may not meet the needs of your clients and suppliers may not be able to keep up with demand.
There are major risks to growth of any kind within a business. Unfortunately too many entrepreneurs fail to recognise this fact and as a consequence see their dream business die.
The resources of most small to medium business are generally fairly limited. Whether those resources are people, financial, process, management, etc, they will come under pressure when your business growth is rapid. This strain could lead to service and quality issues, which could damage your reputation in the market, eroding your ability to make your growth sustainable and could have a negative effect on your profits.
So what can you do to mitigate these pitfalls and establish a business which not only grows fast, but grows sustainability?
Key to rapid and sustainable growth of any business, is to have a destination which is clearly defined and a well researched plan for reaching that destination. The following 3 solutions will help to mitigate the pitfalls of scaling up your business for growth as I have mentioned above.
Have a firm foundation on which to build your growing Gazelle business.
Carefully think through your growth plan and ensure you have a clear understanding of where you are jumping off from. Ask questions about your current market, clients, capacities and capabilities and don’t under or over-estimate your current position. Design your business to be growth ready.
Create a set of defined priorities regarding the changes which need to be made and the time frames involved to ensure your business growth is sustainable.
One of the most commonly over looked areas of planning for growth are the time scales involved. Time scale pressures are insidious and will creep up and bite you while you are looking the other way. Rather extend the time frames and deliver a great product or service, which will put you in a strong position for sustainability.
Understand and plan around not only your limitations, but the limitations of your staff and suppliers.
Growth plans can become overwhelming, particularly when you ignore your own limitations and the real limitations of those you rely on. Always push your own limitations, however, there are many things you are not capable of doing or know that other people are best suited to doing. By outsourcing as much as you possibly can, you will alleviate pressure from yourself and your staff.
Scaling up your business growth, particularly if you want rapid growth, is not easy nor is it for the unprepared. By planning and preparing well, you are unlikely to fall into any of those pitfalls and will be positioned to grow a business which is strong and sustainable.
I have created a free BUSINESS GROWTH ASSESSMENT tool for you to download, which is designed to help you determine whether your business is growth ready. Click the link below to get this Business Growth Assessment tool today.