Business Growing Pains - Part II
Last time, I told you a bit about our growing pains. Well, the pains continue. Trying to hire more employees and the right people, making sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to do on a daily basis, double checking everything, running the business day-to-day, putting out the fires that come with running a customer service-based business, then trying to find time for my family, on top of trying to workout at the gym and taking time for myself! I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
Growing a business is always a juggling act
Here are some more insights I’ve discovered as our business has quickly grown.
Communicate More. As the team grows, communication becomes harder, but also more critical. As it becomes harder to update everyone, or assume that everyone knows the direction the company is headed, it becomes more important than ever to keep everyone in the loop. It may seem like a waste of time to hold those weekly staff meetings when the phones are ringing, customers walking in and appointments to keep, but those weekly meetings, emailed memos, or bulletin board postings keep the information flowing. And they ensure that everyone is on the same page working towards the same goal.
Let Technology Help
I bet there are processes in your business that could be streamlined or a piece of software or app that could make them faster or easier to manage. Like scheduling software for meetings, phone calls or social media planning. And technology allows us to set alarms and reminders about appointments, meetings or due dates, too. Could you use Dropbox or Google drives to share the latest documents or other information everyone needs? Take some time to figure out where you can implement automation to free up more time and mental bandwidth for your team members where it makes sense.
If you need support but don’t want to hire full-time team members yet, consider contractors or freelancers to help fill the gaps for you. You’ll get specialized, high-quality work without having to give them an office or pay benefits. You and your employees can focus on your key objectives and goals and let the specialists do their thing.
No business owner wants to turn away customers. But sometimes you must, because you don’t want to sacrifice quality. That sometimes means saying no to someone so you can focus on a more valuable opportunity. Remember, value comes in several forms – it could be based on the quality or length of the relationship, how passionate you are about the business they bring, or other factors.
Don’t Overwork. You want to work hard to sustain your growth and reach the next level, right? That’s great! But what often ends up happening is you end up overworking yourself and your people. This lack of work-life balance is dangerous, and can lead to burnout. Leaders need to model behavior, and to let employees know that they aren’t expected to work overtime and until exhaustion. It’s important that this starts at the top. Because everyone’s brain needs time to replenish before it can be productive again, the same as the body. Show that your company respects health and wellness by respecting people’s needs.
Growth is both exciting and anxiety causing for companies. There are things you can do to ensure that you can manage the growing pains, and thrive during these periods. Use these tips to spend a less time suffering and more time prospering.