7 Challenges for Growing Business (and How to Fix Them)
So you have decided to grow your business. You may already be thinking of ways to avoid common pitfalls when scaling. But that doesn’t mean your business will be immune to challenges.
The best strategy for growing a business is to be aware of common problems so that you can stop them or fix them quickly.
Here are seven of the most common problems facing small businesses and the best ways to prevent and solve them.
7 Challenges for Growing Business
1. Your initial employees are unhappy.
Issue: While working for a growing business may seem like a good idea, some of your early employees may begin to show that they are unhappy. Why do things have to change? Why can’t we all sit at the same meeting table now? Why can’t I talk to the CEO whenever I need to?
How to avoid it: If your longest-serving employees are unhappy, your team culture has changed and they want things to stay the same. It’s hard to avoid it completely, but there are some things you should keep in mind.
Identify what is important to your team’s culture – although this will change over time, there will be aspects that you want to protect as you grow. Also, try to maintain the same level of transparency and communication that you have always had.
How to fix it: Increasing the transparency of your business and communication with employees. But also understand that not every employee is right for every step of your business journey. Some people prefer small startup teams, others prefer corporate and enterprise environments. Do what you can, but understand if it’s time for some early employees to move on.
2. You have upgraded your tools.
Issue: The tools you chose when starting your business can no longer be cut. You’re having problems with your apps, maximizing the plan, and you know you need to make some changes.
How to avoid it: Take a good look at your tech stack before you deliberately grow your business. Will your most important tools (including your CRM, email marketing provider, and accounting software) be tailored to your needs? Will you be able to upgrade your plan, or is the second option the only option? Save time and money in the long run by making these decisions early.
How to fix it: Take the time to look at your tools and audit what needs to be done, changed or added. To get you started, we’ve compiled our own recommendations for the best SaaS tools.
3. You have worked very fast.
Issue: With a budget at the bank, you do what many growing businesses do: increase the size of your team. But after a few months, you may be thinking that you have hired very fast. Your cash flow may be difficult, productivity is declining while new employees are being trained, or your team culture may be affected.
How to avoid it: Hiring too fast is one of the biggest concerns of business expansion – and it’s something you really want to avoid rather than fix. Don’t overdo your team and endorse every addition to the team.
Remember to learn from the mistakes of other startups and avoid the choice of more aggressive growth and risk appetite. You can also follow our guide to growing your small business successfully.
How to fix it: If you’ve got a job too fast and you need to make some tough decisions, don’t delay, but do so with heart and compassion. Be transparent about what went wrong.
Buffer opened up about the most difficult decision ever made for his business: 10 employee vacations and 11% saying goodbye to the team when it started burning cash instead of positive cash flow.
Buffer attributed the mistake to the choice of more aggressive growth. Moving to a home that he can’t afford, said CEO Joel Gascoigne.:
“We thought we were thinking about balancing our recruitment momentum with increasing our income. Monthly salary.”
Along with 10 difficult jobs, Buffer greened his cash flow by cutting the founder’s salary by 40 percent, cutting the salaries of two employees, reducing the sponsorship budget and canceling the team’s return. It ripped BandAid fast and they are very careful to avoid similar mistakes.
4. The budget has doubled, but not your results.
Issue: We’ve doubled the team, why haven’t we doubled the results? We’ve increased our spending, why don’t we have more customers? Whether you or your investors are asking these questions, finding answers can be difficult.
How to avoid it: Scale slowly. Gradually improve and invest and keep your finger on the pulse of your business’s core financial measure.
Adhering to the philosophy of gradual development and maintaining smart teams can keep your business more recruiting than more recruitment trips that disrupt your team flow and require time.
How to fix it: Slow down and see what went wrong. Has production capacity decreased? Do you burn a lot of money? Have you hired the wrong people? Or were you too optimistic?
Explain what the real problem is and decide how to improve your development strategy.
5. You are spending too much time on coordination rather than actual work.
Issue: You should have free time hiring people, right? After all, yes … but usually not before. Getting new employees on board is the most time consuming task for any business.
How to avoid it: This is another business growth issue that is better than growing carefully. By recruiting more slowly, you and your team will have more time and energy to add new team members.
How to fix it: If you or your business management team is spending every minute managing people instead of focusing on their “real work,” look at your process.
Identify where the failure is and understand what needs to change in your strategy, leadership team and business tools. What are you wasting time on?
In an interview with First Round Review, Bob Sutton, an organizational behaviorist at the Stanford School of Engineering, said scaling is often low, not high:
“Scaling is actually a problem of less … There are a lot of things that used to work that don’t work anymore, so you have to get rid of them. Maybe there are things you’ve always done that you realize. Slows you down
6. Departments are getting less straight.
Issue: You once sat together around a table, but now your team has multiplied. Your sales team has its own meeting while the marketers talk to each other. And, the data cell has started to set up.
How to avoid it: Growing a business successfully requires the best communication and collaboration. Keep your departments working together, maintaining individual accountability for overall business goals, not just departmental numbers, and making sure you coordinate your tools transparently.
How to fix it: No wonder you deal with unorganized teams by increasing alignment. This means face-to-face time, collaborative tools, and cross-departmental projects. Also, make sure your data is synchronized to fix the cell.
7. Communication management is getting messy.
Issue: As your business uses more apps than ever before, the number of contacts in your database is growing rapidly. And, they’re not even close to being organized.
How to avoid it: The most effective way to prevent and fix messy contact management is the two-way data syncing tool. By configuring it, you can quickly straighten contacts across all the right apps, with the exact same data and synchronization between tools.
How to fix it: It was never too late to introduce two-way synchronization and restore order to liaison management. You can also use it as an opportunity to clean up your contacts and get a clear picture of your leads and users.