Imagine this scenario: your company is now celebrating its fifth anniversary, and things could not be going better. Now that you've paid off your initial start-up debts, your company is beginning to turn a good profit each month. As the numbers continue to rise, you and your employees begin to expand, launching new products, improving on older products and strengthening your marketing campaigns. It seems that the only place to go is up.
Companies at all stages have felt this growing power, and it tends to give some people a sort of high. They feel as if nothing can touch the company, that the growth can only continue and nothing they do will hurt the newfound profits.
Of course, this is rarely the case. If a business does not manage its growth, it may find itself taking a few steps backwards instead of moving forward. Obviously, you want to avoid this. Here is how you can effectively manage your company's growth.
Go back to the basics
Making money is not the only reason your company should exist. Whether you are a florist or design accounting software, you have a purpose and a goal. It might be to create stunning bouquets that give weddings the perfect accent or design user-friendly websites for artists and musicians.
Take a moment and reread your company's mission statement, vision, tactics, objections and strategies. Is your company still adhering to its values, visions and tactics? Have the strategies changed? It's okay if they have, but taking some time to redefine your mission statement might help you clear your mind and think about how you want your company to move forward.
Define a management model
When you first began your company, it was probably you and maybe one or two other people. When you needed a little more help, you brought on a few more people, and now that you can pay them, you will hire even more people. So who do these people report to?
Creating a management model might not even cross your mind when your company begins growing, but you do need to have some sort of management in place so your employees understand the chain of command and understand what is expected of each position.
When your business grows and new employees come in, it is important to define who is responsible for certain tasks. You might have started with a marketing team of two people, but now you have four. Appointing a manager or supervisor is necessary and make sure the other employees know what their roles are. You might have a social media manager, a copywriter and a web designer.
You will also need a management ladder in place so product and service quality control may be better monitored. Make sure everyone knows the chain of command and how the structure of the company is made up. As your company grows even more, you will see a pyramid develop, with you on top as CEO.
Better control the quality
When you are a company of only a small number of people, it is easier to control quality. When more people handle the product or service from start to finish, there is a good chance something will go wrong. It is not uncommon that as a company grows, its product quality diminishes. If you want to avoid this, you will have to install a great quality control system.
Take a look at your product or service process and re-evaluate it. Who handles the product first? Does anyone check it? How many people see the finished product before it is sent to the consumer? A team of web designers might check each other's links and make sure they all go somewhere or a team of copywriters might edit for one another.
Your management model should also come into play here. How are your managers ensuring quality control? How are they training new employees and making sure all employees are using the same styles and guidelines? Inconsistency within a team can lead to poor and unstable quality so managers should be in charge of making sure their employees understand workflows and what is expected of them.
Define the company culture
If you were to be invisible for the day and walk around your office or place of work, what might you hear? Are your employees quiet and private or are they boisterous and engaging with one another? Do they hold meetings often or is most information passed via email? Is there a lot of collaboration or do most of your employees work on their own?
Understanding and defining your company culture will help you as you grow and hire on more people. You want your new hires to fit into the culture so that they may succeed and help your company reach even greater heights. Employees in unfamiliar or uncomfortable company cultures might find themselves stifled or unable to work as well as they might in another environment.
Regardless of your current culture, you'd need to ensure that your culture does not take away from productivity. Update any policies and make sure all employees know where they can locate these policies.
Numbers don't lie
Even though you may be doing everything in your power to ensure company growth, your company may experience a slump or a loss in profits. Do not panic just yet.
Always keep your growth measure in check with how much your company is actually growing. Just because you made ten percent more over the last quarter does not mean that you need to renovate your office and put in a fitness centre for employees.
Keep close tabs on your accounts and expenses and watch for anything unusual. As most accountants and CFOs will tell you, "The numbers don't lie." Use those numbers to see where your company is succeeding and where is could use some work. You might have a better idea about where your company could be more efficient or improve its quality.
Company growth is exciting for any entrepreneur, no matter how young or old the company is, but it is not an excuse to let loose and continue doing business as if you are still that little start-up company. It is time to take control of your growth and manage it so your profits continue to see healthy growth.