If you’re a business owner, you naturally view business growth as a good thing. It’s not only exciting but a validation of the merit of all your hard work and continual stream of good ideas.
In terms of the big picture, too, a rapidly growing business is also a good thing. You not only give more people the opportunity to earn a good living, but you have also done your bit to improve the economy.
Still, business growth can just as quickly become something of a challenge if your business is no longer running as productivity, efficiently and cost-effectively as before.
At this point, of course, it’s necessary to take preventative measures to stabilize your business. If you continue to let things run their course, you could run your ship of enterprise onto the rocks instead of onto the high seas.
So, with that caveat in mind, you have to ask the following 3 questions to get some perspective on how to manage your business growth better:
1. Has there been a decline in customer service?
2. Do your current hiring policies still preserve your corporate culture?
3. Are you evaluating your numbers accurately?
Let’s take a closer look at all three issues.
1. Make a new plan to serve customers better
Making a new plan to streamline customer relations going forward can be facilitated by using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. CRM serves a broad spectrum of needs from data management to clear and consistent communication. However, selecting the right CRM software is not always the easiest task because there are many features that you need to take into account based on your particular type of business.
CRM software is critical for accomplishing your business goals, but it’s only too easy to become overwhelmed with the options out there. For this reason, it’s essential to compare CRM software from review websites like SelectHub, SoftwareAdvice or G2Crowd.
Since the core element of business success is customer satisfaction, one possible use of CRM software might be to help you detect if you are having customer-retention issues. Continuing to provide high-level customer service is something that you have to keep front and center during times of fast-paced growth.
As you grow, it’s all too easy to lose touch with the customer. You may not even realize that customers are no longer happy because you’re under the misperception that you’re still riding your initial wave of popularity. It’s highly likely that when you first started, you did everything right, from product quality to efficient service to selling at the perfect price point.
However, due to the higher volume of sales, the quality and pricing of your goods and services may not be as attractive compared to the competition. Without realizing it, your customer service may have fallen flat because of an emphasis on winning over new customers. Meanwhile, your older customers may have become increasingly dissatisfied.
2. Review your hiring policy to ensure workforce productivity
As your business grows quickly, hiring the wrong people can quickly create an issue.
How do you maintain the high quality of the people who work for you to preserve the corporate culture you spent so much time building?
It starts by revisiting those values that made your corporate culture successful in the first place and then working to keep those values intact. In order to do that, it’s very important that you hire the right people, those who are able and willing to do the work with interest and enthusiasm. In other words, it’s essential to have an engaged workforce.
3. Understand your numbers better
By only focusing on your sales numbers, you can get a distorted picture of your overall performance. While, of course, sales growth is essential, it’s not enough just to evaluate your top line. You also have to look at your bottom line to get a true measure of your profitability. At a higher scale, you are also looking at increased expenses, and your income statement’s revenue line may not give you a realistic picture of your current financial performance.
Before your business grew, it was probably much easier to know your numbers and have a good understanding of how well your business was doing. You had a fairly accurate mental picture of how your expenses compared to sales. However, if you reach $5 million mark, it’s much harder to keep track all your key performance numbers in your head. The only sensible way to manage your numbers is to have a savvy financial team keep track of where you are now and where you need to be.
You Haven’t Made Any Mistakes
It’s tempting to blame yourself after reviewing all your metrics and discovering that your current struggles are a result of a series of undetected mistakes you made as your business expanded.
This is a disempowering perspective, and it may not even be true. It has never been easy for any company to grow well, maintaining a perfect balance between aggressive growth and stable business systems and processes. It’s enough to come to the realization that while business growth is exhilarating, there is also much to be said for sustainable growth. The idea behind reevaluating your business is not to slow down your momentum but to grow effectively.
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