It’s great when your business starts to grow. But frantically pushing for faster and faster growth without laying the proper groundwork first may mean that you are not adequately prepared to cope with the changes as they happen. Here are our Top 5 Tips for growing at a steady pace to avoid potential pitfalls:
1. Try to make sure that the infrastructure that you require is already in place before starting a business, or at least know whether it would be possible to upscale your processes to meet any sharp increase in demand. For example, if you suddenly had to invoice hundreds of people per day, could your systems handle it?
2. Set clear objectives and make sure that you celebrate whenever you get past these milestones. These are great moments to stop and look back at how much you have spent getting the business to this point and what can be done to keep costs down on the road towards the next one.
3. Devise a plan to steer your business towards profitability and don’t lose sight of it. Growth will cost money and any profit that your business is making will probably be eaten up by reinvestment in the business in terms of assets and staff. But don’t lose sight of the fact that a business that isn’t making a profit ultimately isn’t really fit for purpose.
4. Don’t go crazy on the new hires. Once you start making money, it’s tempting to hire as many people as you can afford. It’s a visible sign to the outside world that things are going well for your business, but if you outsourced instead then you would be making a lot more profit!
5. Understand the relationship between growth and expenditure. It will cost you money to grow, there is no doubt about it. The trick is avoid letting your expenses get out of control and bootstrapping wherever possible.