Growth is something all business owners are trying to achieve.
It signifies success in business, increased profits and a promising future, and once you experience a little bit of it, all you want is more. What many people don't think about, however, is with growth comes great responsibility, and too much growth too quickly can severely undermine the strength and structure of your company. To achieve sustainable growth it's important that you control it, so here are some tips:
Understand your core competencies
Now that your business is growing, you need to step back and measure which areas of your business drive profits, and which ones increase your expenses. Examples of common core competencies are computer support and maintenance, customer help lines, equipment maintenance, payroll and debt collection, human resources and so forth.
From here, you can decide which areas of your business can be outsourced, and which ones you need to maintain in-house. Essential core functions are basically those that give you a competitive advantage, contribute directly to growth, and provide a service you are known for.
Plan your growth and control costs
Having a plan for growth is critical if you want success, and more often than not it is your budget that is central to the planning. Planning will also make you aware of any other elements that need to be reviewed, such as competitive elements, numbers, needs of people, new technologies, market shares and direction. Above all else, you need to plan out multiple-scenario budgets for short-term or long-term finances, and finances for whether growth is a success or failure.
Make sure your business evolves with the times
New growth almost always requires the assistance of modern technologies, so you need to keep your eye out for new trends that will be useful for your growth effort. New computer software such as maintenance management software, business intelligence tools and software that takes care of regular administrative functions is going to be extremely useful for you. Any technology that involves communication is also very important to invest in as your business moves into the future, as well as new technologies that will boost productivity.
Create a strong corporate culture
It is the employees and employers together that create a corporate culture — a culture that will directly benefit your company as it grows. The more employees feel empowered, excited and happy to be at work, the more they will contribute directly towards the success of the organisation. Similarly, if you want to control the direction of growth, you must have people on board who understand the role, direction and philosophy of the growing business.
Avoid resting on your laurels
Another critical success factor for planning and controlling growth is to ensure your business always maintains a fluid style that is adaptable, flexible, innovative and opportunistic. Just because you are experiencing growth doesn't mean you can continue to live off business as usual. To maintain the growth, you need to continue marketing to reach new customers, improve your products and services, and always look for ways to improve processes within the organisation.
Growth is crucial for a business, but what is even more important is that the growth is controlled and managed properly. Unbridled growth may be great for the short-term, but if you want long-term success you need to be strategic about it.