In many ways growth translates into change. The growth of a company could be a thrilling process for an entrepreneur. Still, at the same time, the process can be terrifying. And if you own a company that is expanding be prepared to offer your team some answer regarding this development. Sooner rather than later, they will approach you for solutions and explanations when the transitioning phases take place.
So regardless if you foresee that your company will register steady or rapid growth, make sure to follow these steps so that you are able to stay away from the most common mistakes most entrepreneurs make while also maximizing the success of your company.
1. Make sure your team is prepared. Each and every member of your team should be both excited and proud of working in a company that is growing. However, exactly the opposite emotions can appear when, let’s say, an increased number of clients or orders will catch your employees when they’re with their guard down.
An exceptional salesperson will always establish achievable and realistic expectations for his/her customers. So why would you do any different for your employees?
Regardless of the number of employees on your team, hold a monthly meeting where presence is mandatory during which you update them on the situation at hand. This can be a great way of having the opportunity to talk to your team about the future and the expectations they may have.
The message you present needs to address the numbers of opportunities that will arise once the company registers growth, without sugarcoating the challenges. Your team members should be aware of the obstacles that will lie in front of them and you need to let them know how they will need to contribute to the growth.
A team that is not prepared from an emotional standpoint for the challenges that accompany growth can become a huge administrative distraction. And the best way to avoid this obstacle altogether is by keeping your team members informed about the strategic direction of your company.
2. Explain to your team the reasons why your company is expanding. For people that possess an entrepreneurial mindset, the reasons why a company grows are pretty obvious. However, that may not be the case for team member. I cannot stress it enough how important it is to inform all your team members about the benefits of a company registering growth.
For the key employees, the growth of a business ultimately translates into more job security. It is possible that you will need to add team members so that you are able to keep pace. This also means that you aren’t going to let go any productive employee who understands the culture of the company. The larger the company, the less vulnerable it is to competitors or the departure of a customer.
Every growing company requires leaders that will guide the expansion while also creating great opportunity for the worthy ones. By choosing to promote from within the company, your business will benefit from an increased engagement and higher productivity levels of your employees.
3. Avoid overthinking the timing. In some instances, entrepreneurs are on the fence about pursuing growth, considering that the systems of the company are not prepared or set in place for company growth. This type of entrepreneurs will always try and work out every detail so that their risk is as calculated as possible.
However, you probably know by now that there is no such thing as perfect timing. If everything else is set in stone, there is no such time as the present to add new employees to your team so that the productivity levels increase.
4. Set in place back-up systems and practices. Aim to determine how your business will manage the growth process. You need to start by setting a plan in motion to ensure that each department can meet the expectations that arise with the anticipated expansion.
Also, make sure you took all the necessary steps to prepare your team for the addition of new team members, deciding who will be responsible with their training, who will lead them, how their work will be allocated and the necessary equipment and/or software you will need to purchase.
5. Take into account the company culture. With all the chaos that surrounds rapid growth, it’s easy to omit the company culture. However, you should do anything but that, given the fact that culture will need to remain a part of an ever-present initiative.
You have a great one already? Just imagine what will happen if your team will double in size without considering how this will impact the culture. In most cases the culture of the company will erode. Therefore, you absolutely need to define the company culture while educating the new employees about the expectations. This should be one of your top priorities. Also consider that this task has no end point.
6. Create a strategy for new team members. During the rough patches the company culture acts like the glue that will keep your team together. So it’s extremely important to both set and adjust the tone early. If your team members are educated or made aware about the expectations of the company – with an established and solid plan to train them – they will show an increase in productivity even sooner than you anticipated.
7. Create a leadership team. The bigger the company becomes, the more leaders it will require. Select the people that show the most promise and possess leadership traits (attitude, aptitude and aspirations) early in their careers so you can start to coach them ASAP for the positions they will need to fill in the not-so-distant future.