Getting your startup off the ground is a big proposition. You want to give your best to your business, letting it grow and thrive without experiencing the potential pitfalls of too-rapid growth. If you want to grow your startup in a way that is sustainable, manageable, and will help you stand the test of time, these tips will make it easier for you to reach your goals.
Why Not Grow Fast?
Your startup is taking off, and you’re accomplishing more than you ever dreamed possible. Why not take full advantage of every possible opportunity in front of you? The problem is, too-rapid growth isn’t sustainable. It comes with a number of potential pitfalls, including:
- Cash flow discrepancies that can drive a startup into the ground
- Too much focus on initial sales and not enough on the other parts of the business
- Customer service that can’t keep up with the demands of your customers
- Staff that has to be hired too quickly, therefore landing you with individuals who simply aren’t right for your business
- Exhaustion from both you and the other members of your team
- Financial issues as you struggle to keep up
- Inability to keep up with the technology your business needs to thrive
How to Keep It Steady
When you stay in control of your growth, you’re able to stay in better control of your entire business. These strategies will help you maintain steady growth so that you can enjoy the benefits of a thriving startup without feeling as though you’re rushing headlong and end burning out too soon.
Tip #1: Pay attention to existing technology and align with it rather than trying to create your own.
What technology and tools are out there to help you grow? In many cases, using those tools can help you improve your ability to keep up with the demands of your industry–not to mention freeing up your time and funds to focus on other things. It can also be helpful to align with existing opportunities and technologies in a partnership that will help your business grow.
Tip #2: Know your capacity.
Sure, increasing your capacity is a great way to increase sales and therefore grow your business–but it’s also important to know what your capacity is. How many man hours can your store actually afford to pay? Is it practical to operate your business 24/7 in these early years?
Tip #3: Know when to outsource.
As a founder, you’re going to wear a lot of hats over the course of your career–many of them in roles you never expected to take on. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to do it all. It’s important to know when outsourcing can help grow your business more effectively than handling those same tasks in-house.
Tip #4: Work with trusted mentors.
The individuals–ideally those who have already been successful in your industry, at starting their own business, or in some other capacity–can help you know when to scale back and when to barrel forward.
Tip #5: Get rid of things that aren’t working.
Whether it’s a product line that didn’t work out for your business or a service that no one seems to want–or even one that is sapping more resources than initially anticipated–it’s important to get rid of the things that aren’t working for your business.
Tip #6: Focus on hiring the right people.
If you get stuck in a period of rapid growth that requires you to add employees swiftly, you may struggle to add employees at a sustainable rate. Hiring the right employees, however, will make a huge difference in the later success of your business. Make sure you take the time to hire the right individuals.
Tip #7: Watch your data.
Know what key metrics are important for your business and make sure you’re keeping a close eye on that data. Learn how to read the market, including anticipating how it has the potential to turn. The better you are at data analysis, the more you data collection can help your startup succeed.
Rapid growth doesn’t have to lead to rapid burnout for your startup. By utilizing these seven tips, you’ll find that it’s easier to handle your growth. And if you’d like the guidance of an experienced virtual CFO to help manage your growth, get in touch with Numbersowl today.
Also published on Medium.