When your business is in growth mode, you may feel empowered by the exciting and positive changes that you are providing to the company. You may believe that nothing can slow you down as you build new partnerships with clients, launch new campaigns, hire new people and expand your line of products or services.
Although getting motivated when you’re growing your business is good, there’s such a thing as expanding too fast. Once the adrenaline wears off, you may realize that you’ve spent prematurely or hired too many people, leaving your organization in a tough position.
The good news is that you can prevent your company from suffering the unwanted effects of growing too fast and too much. While your business is booming, keep a close eye out for these telltale signs:
- Employee Morale is Going Down
When a company scales, so too, do its responsibilities. Your workers may likely be taking on more tasks than before without any increase in their compensation. If you’re running a home loan lending firm and your business is scaling, for instance, your mortgage lenders may end up taking on more potential homebuyers than they can handle in a day.
This situation is the perfect recipe for a dip in morale, which is just a step away from a drop in work quality and productivity.
Although rapid growth may be good news for the executive team, stakeholders or founders, this may not be a good thing for employees. Your workers are suddenly facing the thought of doing more with the same resources, which can be demoralizing. What’s worse, your employees will resent you because they see the expansion as a good thing for management, but not for entry-level staff.
The obvious solution to this is to bump up employee compensation. This move, however, may not be possible if your cash flow has become problematic due to your company’s expansion.
If this is the case, make sure that your staff isn’t overworked and recognize their contributions during company events. Once your cash flow normalizes, offer bonuses or boost compensation. If your staff is overtaxed, take steps to reduce everyone’s workload by bringing on new hires.
- Hiring Unnecessarily or Without a Solid Plan
Entrepreneurs naturally hire more people on their team when their business is expanding. The problem is that some businesses don’t hire strategically. They bring on board new employees on the fly just to have an extra set of hands. Hiring without a plan, however, can result in bringing in people without the proper experience – or with values not aligned with your organization.
Bringing in the wrong employees can also seriously hurt your business. Research from Glassdoor revealed that the average U.S. employer spends about $4,000 and takes upward of 24 days just to fill a position. All that time and money will go down the drain if your HR team hastily hires employees who are a poor fit and leaves your organization within six months. This can also waste valuable training time and reduce your current employees’ morale.
If you’re going to hire people, don’t do it solely to fill seats. Take a good look at your organization and figure out if you should outsource some of your projects instead of hiring a full-time worker.
- Lapses in Customer Service
If you’ve noticed a sudden rise in customer service complaints, this could be an indication that your organization is growing too rapidly. If you’re getting more clients but you’re not expanding your team, there’s a high chance that your staff won’t be able to give each customer the same level of attention. Employee burnout and fatigue could also result in more errors and more dissatisfied clients.
When you’re staring at degrading customer service levels, you have two options: bring in more people or take on less work. The first option is desirable, but may not be possible if you’re suffering from cash flow issues. On the other hand, reducing the workload will affect your business growth. This move, however, could be a prudent decision if you’re trying to gain stability.
- You’ve Outgrown Your Tech Tools
Rapidly growing companies need online and digital platforms that perform and scale as you do. If you’re working with entry-level applications, chances are that they won’t provide you with the support you need to expand.
If this is the case, you’ll need to ditch your current tech stack and look for better software on the web. Make sure that the platforms that you’re going to install on your company devices can do the following:
- Automate tasks and processes that are tedious to do
- Have the desired features you need to perform at the next level in your company growth
- Integrate well with the other software that your employees use regularly
When you notice any of these signs in your business, take a step back and examine your company as a whole. Then, take measures to scale sustainably to achieve a more stable pace of growth.