The majority of business owners want their companies to expand. Many support their ambitions by citing their own “grow or die” myth, which is the idea that a company must grow to remain in the game. This isn’t the case. Actually, the opposite could be true because, as we all know, there are risks that could hinder the growth of businesses.
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If you’re running a successful firm – one that’s always profitable – using an intelligent growth strategy could destroy it. In saying this, I’m not denigrating the advantages of smart business growth, including more profits, better stability, better value, and more chances for employees. It’s just that without proper planning, change can be detrimental to a business in four important areas.
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Clients: Can you still provide them the same service level as you did before?
Growing companies make mistakes. In fact, during times of growth, the quality of services and products is lower before it increases. When you have 99.9 percent web reliability, your clients will be able to tell. Recently, I was appointed as interim CEO of a significant service business. We increased sales by 50% in eighteen months while maintaining our better-than-industry-average net profit margins. During this time, we also expanded our production and support staff.
More customers mean more interactions and experiences, as well as more chances for us to “shine or s _ _ _,” according to what I advised our managers. Because today, the customer is not “king” (able to set the rules); instead, they are “tyrant” (able to swiftly penalize those who do not fulfill their expectations). We evaluated our service standards and reporting system and determined the best way to follow up whenever the company “missed” our high standards before our commitment to grow. The advancements we saw during the first year were carried into the following year.
Cultural: Are you looking forward to the way your business can grow?
A large corporation is different from a smaller one. It’s not less effective. Not worse. It’s just different. When a business grows in size, its culture may shift.
I was the Chief Operating Officer (Interim) for a significant independent financial institution a few years ago. Despite its successes, the business slowed down because of the organization and its operations. During this time, we transferred employees, created different job descriptions, designed new accountability levels, and improved standards for performance; everything you’d think of. Due to our thorough approach, we collaborated closely with the director of human resources and found her competent and compassionate.
It was this second quality that kept getting her way. In her head, the calm “family feel” was sacrificed in favor of performance. It was true. It was kind of. Even though we set higher standards, we still remained supportive of employees, made them feel welcome, and provided personal touches. However, the culture changed, and she was soon offered another job in a smaller firm.
This is a cost – an opportunity – for growth. In this instance, fortunately, the cultural shifts allowed for a long continuous period of expansion.
Money: Do you have the money to increase your income?
It is expensive to expand. In reality, before deciding whether or not your business is in a position to expand, you must first decide whether it can manage the financial burden that growth will bring.
At times, I’ll call in an outside accountant director (CFO) to ensure the control of the financials during the growth project. By working together, we can manage cash, project revenues, and expenses, increase the balance sheet, and design tools to forecast that will help to implement the plan. The right people and systems can create the discipline required to enhance the quality of equipment, property, wages, and everything else needed to begin and maintain an approach to growth.
When we had the best person as our CFO, we were able to grow,
Contest: Are you ready to go on?
While in the highschool (just after the single-room school homes), I was a football player. Because I was from a town of tiny size, I was part of small-town conferences, which meant my little body was big enough to play offensive and defensive tackle. At the time, I was thin enough that, in my uniform, I appeared a little like Barney Fife (look him up… He was skinny) wearing pads. If I had been in college, I’d have been one of the statistics.
Competing at the top of the line requires greater skill, speed, determination, talent, and weight. The same is true in business. As you expand, competition will change. The larger companies have more resources, and when they perceive your company as a threat, they will likely use their tools against you. You’ll be smashed if you’re not ready to take on the challenge.
Should I consider expanding? This is the question that every business owner must ask before committing to growing their business. It’s possible that if you stay the size, you’re at, you’ll continue to enjoy the lifestyle you’ve built and the income you’ve earned. However, consider the dangers of increasing your business if you decide to expand your practice or business.
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