Difficulties arise when companies begin to scale up because as a company grows and expands its operations, entrepreneurs typically become less involved with the day to day operation of their business.
This removes them from direct interaction and contact with both employees and customers, making the company less responsive to the needs of its workers and clients.
Sustainable Growth Requires Planning and Direct Involvement of Leadership.
Over time, this distance leads to a decrease in team morale, engagement, performance, and customer satisfaction. The company may continue to grow for a short span of time, but, sales typically stall at this point.
As a company’s leader becomes increasingly removed from operations, its processes typically become increasingly complex and inefficient. Productivity and quality decline, and dissatisfaction increases among the customer base.
Without direct intervention by leadership, sales and profits begin a rapid descent. The once small, growing company that seemingly had such a bright future becomes yet another failed business statistic. All because its leaders were unable to successfully manage the transition of scaling operations to grow from a small to medium sized business.
Tips to Successfully Scale Your Business.
The following are a few areas entrepreneurs can focus on to avoid the pitfalls that befall small businesses as they attempt to scale their operations and grow to the next level:
Focus on Processes.
Six Sigma is not just for large companies; lean concepts are beneficial for organizations of all sizes. It is particularly beneficial for companies that are trying to scale up their operations from the initial startup phase.
This valuable tool set gives leaders a thoughtful, systematic way to be able to quickly identify and eliminate the unnecessary extra steps and procedures that cause processes to bog down, resources to be wasted, and a decrease in the quality of products and services that are produced.
Lean process engineering allows companies to increase their efficiency, lower costs and improve quality as they eliminate waste, streamline processes and focus on creating a culture that seeks continual growth, development and improvement. Each of these factors works together to increase worker morale, engagement and performance, boosting sales and profits as customer satisfaction grows.
Get Serious about Marketing and Building Your Company’s Brand.
In today’s environment of a growing awareness about various issues of social justice, and the impact made on our society as a whole by each individual’s actions, a growing number of customers are choosing to do business only with companies that share their values.
Today’s most successful companies connect with their customers through social media and other channels and receive valuable feedback that helps leaders to be more responsive to customer needs and create products and services that solve problems. They also use these channels to start conversations about the greater needs of society as a whole, exchange information and ideas about how they can partner with customers and other third parties, and work together for a greater purpose.
Marketing is no longer just about getting your company’s name out there and letting folks know about your latest specials and deals. It’s time for you to learn how to market yourself, and how to use social media, your company website, and blog to share yourself. Furthermore, using these resources to share your vision with others, transform your customer base into fans who not only share your values but will work with you and your company to promote and effect positive social change.
Focus on Building Your Company’s Culture.
According to statistics on business survival from the Small Business Administration, only half of all businesses that have employees other than the owner will survive five years. Other research indicates that nearly 8 out of every 10 new businesses will fail within the first 18 months of beginning operations. There are a number of reasons why a company may fail, but one way to ensure to build a resilient, flexible company that is able to grow and survive financial difficulties and other setbacks is to focus on building a strong company culture.
A strong culture begins with recruiting talented team members that share your values and vision. Focus on defining what you believe in – your company’s values. Give your team a purpose and inspire them to pursue excellence by clearly defining your company’s mission and vision for the future. Why does your company exist and how does it benefit others?
Be authentic and accountable and ensure that your actions match your communications. Provide opportunities for your associates to gain the skills that they need to excel and grow along with your company. Advocate the development of strong relationships built on trust and mutual respect within your team to promote greater harmony, cooperation and collaboration.
Offer praise, recognition, and rewards when your team’s performance meets its targets, while staying true to its values and purpose.
Improving processes, building your brand and creating a strong culture are the three fundamental keys to creating an effective, lean organization that is not only committed to excellence and improvement, but which is poised to build sustainable growth as it scales up to the next level.