How to Cure 8 Growing Pains of Your Small Business

by Lauren Schneidewind on January 20, 2017

The leap from a small business to one with millions of dollars in sales is exciting. However, entrepreneurs face a whole spectrum of challenges related to organization and structure, operations, leadership approaches and human resources development.

When starting out, your company sounds like a dream come true. Then, when your business grows, it makes the necessity of different processes and structures painfully real. How do you deal with the new challenges?

1. Growth is not equal to profit.

Surprisingly, bigger is not always good for business. If there is growth in sales but not profits, the result is nothing more than workload increase. That is not your goal as an entrepreneur. The goal is to make a profit and to increase your profit.

What to do? Find time to sit down and investigate what’s wrong with the processes in your company. Learn how to work smarter, not harder.

2. Keep an eye on your competitors.

You may feel that your company has become bigger, and therefore stronger. However, don’t forget that during this process, more and more competitors start noticing you and you become a threat to their success.

What to do? If you haven’t already, start collecting information about your competitors on a regular basis. Try to predict their next move.

3. Be strong enough to say “No.”

We have been taught since childhood that it’s not polite to say “no.” That’s why, as adults, it’s difficult for us to use this word. While no may be negative from a linguistic point of view, saying it may have a positive impact on your life.

What to do? Whenever reasonable, take a stand against something that you feel is not good for you or your company. With regular practice, you will soon feel comfortable enough to say no when necessary.

4.Transition from small business owner to leader.

You know what it means to be a solopreneur. However, when your business grows you become a leader. Leadership requires the use of a smart combination of business intelligence and emotional intelligence. A great leader inspires people to work passionately for the company’s success. Also, a leader makes decisions that benefit all – customers, company, and employees.

What to do? Learn from the prominent leaders in your business sphere. Read their books, articles and interviews and try to grasp the essence of their way of thinking.

5. Keep your focus.

Now that your business is growing, there are many more opportunities, people, and threats to distract you. The temptations make it easy for a new leader to slip up and forget their business focus.

What to do? Take time to create a plan. Then, take actions based on the plan. Be ready to make adjustments according to current market conditions.

6. The tough question about cost cutting.

As a business grows, it becomes inevitable to start thinking how to trim costs and create a lean environment. The goal is an increase in profit margin that takes into consideration all necessary expenses.

What to do? Discuss with your team the necessity of cutting costs, and hire an external contractor to help you if needed.

7. What’s your human resources strategy?

Do you remember when your company began the qualities you were looking for when hiring? Well, whom you hire may be different when you are in the process of rapid development. A new business situation requires people with a different mindset - people who can work under pressure in an ever-changing environment.

What to do? Human capital is essential to the success of a company. If necessary, reconsider your hiring policy and start using expert services.

8. Do you know how to delegate?

Your business is your baby, and it’s understandable that you feel the need to control everything related to it. In the initial stages of the company that reaction was normal. However, a fast-paced business environment requires you to stop doing everything by yourself. It’s time to delegate important tasks and responsibilities to trustworthy employees.

What to do? If you feel uncomfortable delegating, start with small steps and little by little it will become second nature. Remember that controlling every single thing in a big company will slow down growth and burn you out.

If the growing pains of your success overwhelm you, don’t give up. Instead, try to face reality and make efforts to understand the nature of your new business environment. Recognizing the growing pains of your company can help you start using them to your benefit.

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