After you get your business launched and operating, growth is typically the next phase. Business growth is a necessary part of your entrepreneurial journey if you want to survive and thrive. And while business growth is exciting, it’s essential that you have some key things in place and have a clear understanding of when your business is truly ready to take things to the next level.
What is business growth?
Business growth means different things to different business owners. Here’s the most common means of business growth:
- Physical expansion
- Additional locations
- Increase in customers and sales
- New products and services
Common Mistakes with Business Growth
When you’ve gained traction in your market and your customer base is on the rise, it’s exciting to figure out what’s next for your business. But it’s crucial to not get impatient. You want to set yourself up for success by exercising the same strategic thinking you did when launching your business.
Also be sure to out for these common pitfalls of business growth:
- Lack of infrastructure
- Lack of systems & processes
- Lack of funding & resources
- Unclear picture of business’s current financial health
Is Growth always good?
As the old saying goes, “if you aren’t growing, you’re dying”. While this statement is typically true in business, it’s important you grow properly, with a plan and under control. Uncalculated business growth is a recipe for disaster.
Warning signs business growth could be hurting your business:
- Outgrowing capabilities
- Overlooking small mistakes
- Too much success
- Ignoring warning signs
To learn more about these warning signs check out the article, “Growing Your Business Could be Putting You Out of Business”, by Don Herrmann.
Now that we’ve covered the mistakes to be aware of when it comes to business growth, let’s dive into the signs you’re ready for it!
Signs you’re ready for Business Growth
According to the article, “Growth Strategy: Signs Your Business is Ready for Growth”, by Americanexpress.com here are the 5 signs your business is ready to move forward.
You’re measuring the right metrics.
From customer acquisition to product selection metrics, you need to be sure you have the fundamental pieces in place to grow your business. Measuring the right metrics allows you to have a clear picture of where you business is at, the direction it’s heading and crucial details to navigate moving forward.
You have the right people in place.
A solid staff and/or management team is essential to growing your business. You need a team that can adapt to and embrace the changes your business will experience. Not only that, you need to be sure you have an adequately sized trained staff to service your growing customer base and/or grow your product production.
You’ve defined your processes.
To grow your business you must have defined processes for regularly occurring activities. Having processes in place in the form of SOPs (standard operating procedures) or playbooks will allow you to scale. You can more easily and efficiently get things done, produce your products, hire and train staff, manage customers and more when you are systemized.
One of my favorite tools for creating playbooks of business processes is Arvo. Their software allows you to easily build SOPs and distribute them to others.
You created accountability
Processes don’t work unless you can hold people accountable. The last thing you want is to create systems for things and not have accountability in place. It’s likely lack of accountability will lead you and/or your team to start implementing shortcuts and workarounds. Which results in inefficiencies, customer issues and more.
When you and your team are results-oriented because you have accountability built into your processes people work more efficiently. A hard working team that gets things done, means you can grow!
You have enough capital.
It takes money to make money. And growth isn’t cheap! You need to take a good hard look at your business finances to ensure you can handle the growth.
Often growth means getting access to capital from somewhere. Whether you bootstrap or get investors for funding, be sure you are getting as much value as you can out of every dollar. When you use capital to create value, growth is the result!
The moral of the story is to grow your business as intentionally and strategically as possible. Fight the urge to grow too quickly and lose control of the good thing you have going. Pay close attention to your financials, industry trends, team and signs your business is giving you that your growth is ready.
If you’re hitting a business growth spurt and aren’t sure how to navigate the next steps, set up a business coaching session with our business coaches! We can help you run your business through the checklist of the things above to ensure you’re ready!