Business growth can be an exciting time, but it also comes with a range of challenges that business owners need to prepare for. The following article addresses some key challenges that growing businesses might face, and offers strategies for overcoming them.
As your business expands, you will soon find it necessary to employ more hands-on-deck. While this is a great marker of success, business owners need to navigate a range of hurdles of business growth when taking on new employees.
For example, employing people first and foremost means business owners need to be financially prepared for the costs involved in training the new person and taking them on permanently. Make sure you have enough business coming in in order to offset these costs, by regularly checking your finances and keeping budgeting as much as possible.
Employing new staff also means that business owners must be aware of their legal obligations concerning any regulations around things such as minimum wage and health and safety concerns. Make sure you are filled in properly as to your obligations as an employer, and be prepared to fulfil those obligations once the new employee starts.
Research Your Competitors
Understanding trends and patterns in your market by researching your competitors is vital as your business begins to expand. Having thorough knowledge of what’s already out there can help you spot opportunities, make changes to your own business model where relevant and ultimately, enable you to capitalise on any gaps in the existing market.
Related to understanding your market is the need to understand your customers. Often, business owners see their customers as a challenge, and this can lead to adopting an “us versus them” mentality. As your business expands, you need to avoid this mentality and find a way to see your customers as partners in your business’ journey to success.
As your business expands and your brand begins to gain more and more exposure, it is likely that at some point in time you will have to deal with a customer complaint. While this can be a daunting task for a new business owner, it can be a great opportunity to show your customers that you care.
Devise a formal complaints system so that customers can easily voice their concerns, and ensure there are systems in place to address the complaint as quickly as possible. Do all you can to appease the customer, and use the complaint to make any necessary changes to your business model.
Managing Your Company’s Culture
While your business is still small, it can be easy to ensure that company culture is strong and supportive. With business growth, you’ll be adding more and more staff, but maintaining this strong working culture can become difficult.
To avoid neglecting the maintenance of your company’s culture, it ca be a good idea to use management as a means to instil the type of values the company aspires to across the board. Make sure staff in senior management positions are aware of the leadership approach you would like them to take on board, as ultimately it is management that will set the tone for the rest of your staff.