While growth is generally a welcome result of your efforts, it has to come at the right time for it to be a successful step in a new direction. The term ‘growth’ means different things to everyone—for some, it may be landing a few extra clients, while for others, it may be more about meeting a certain revenue goal. Whatever the case, we can all agree that growth is only best when we’re ready to accommodate the changes that come with it.
At some point, every business owner will ultimately face a difficult choice: to grow or not to grow. This decision is not to be one taken lightly—choosing growth will have major implications on one’s financial stability, personal life, and overall brand recognition in the industry.
The first question to ask yourself is if you need to grow. If you’re satisfied with your bottom line and the work that you’re doing, then it may be prudent to keep doing what works. One should never expand a company due to pressure from competitors or peers. On the flip side, if you’d love to build your income and are interested in developing your brand outwardly, then it’s certainly worth the effort to take on some new ventures.
When you decide to make the plunge to expand your company, remember that this new direction is not one you need to navigate alone. Set up an appointment with a business coach to walk through some of the steps you’ll need to take, as well as how to grow responsibly in a way that won’t risk the brand you’ve already built. You may also want to get in touch with your accountant to discuss the financial repercussions that come with taking on new business, as well as new team members.
Policies & procedures
The initial stages of preparing for growth is also the time to ensure that policies and procedures are put into place in order to promote consistency, as well as streamline everyday tasks. Project management software, like Basecamp or Aisle Planner, are excellent tools to help keep everything in one place. You may also want to consider putting together an onboarding guide for any new hires. While it may take some time upfront, it will save you from having to train new employees on every detail.
With everything in place, it’s time to consider building your team. With more clients or services, you’ll need to have a solid support system to maintain your well-oiled machine. The hiring process is an essential step along the way to your goal. First and foremost, consider what kind of attributes will best suit your brand and mesh with your own personality. Seek out those who can take direction well, but will also be self-motivated with the initiative to handle certain projects on their own. Keep an eye out for those who are eager to share their own ideas to improve the company; their fresh perspectives will come in handy down the line.
While it can be difficult to delegate certain tasks to employees in fear of losing control of your brand, one can safeguard against this by teaching new hires to embrace the company’s values and act as brand ambassadors. Incorporate your philosophies into everyday dialogue from the get-go and get them involved in some of the inner workings of the business. The more they feel included, the more committed they will be to you and your very precious company. Your business will only develop organically if employees feel empowered. However, there are probably some tasks you’ll want to hold onto. For example, if you are the face of the brand, you will still want to handle all of the face-to-face appointments and communications on sensitive matters.
Along the way, be sure to be open about changes with clients and vendors. Effective communication about your plans to grow is key, as it will show transparency and earn the trust of industry peers.
With these steps in place, you can start trying out that new service or taking on those extra clients without worrying about missing out on opportunities or overwhelming yourself with an unreasonable workload. Good luck on your journey!
Jennifer Taylor is the owner of Taylor’d Events Group, a planning firm that specializes in celebrations of all kinds in the Pacific Northwest and Maui.
Get Fresh March 2016