Three Tips To Scaling When Your Business Is Experiencing Rapid Growth For The First Time
Nona Djavid Forbes Councils Member
For any entrepreneur or small business owner, it’s easy to focus on getting your business off the ground and running. However, many often forget they need to set systems and processes in place in case they experience immediate growth. Even if the growth is not immediate, creating space that is flexible and can navigate growth is imperative.
As our world returns to some sort of normalcy, entrepreneurs need to be flexible once again and make sure they’re prepared for any triumph or hurdle that's thrown their way.
Implement the infrastructure that allows you to scale.
Have an infrastructure in place that will support anticipated (and future) growth. Even if you don’t have the caliber of clientele, sales or number of team members just yet, get the right systems and processes in place ahead of time because you never know when your business is suddenly going to take off.
Companies are like plants — when you plant the seed, you can't expect it to bloom right away. You need the right amount of sunlight and water, and it will eventually grow and blossom at its own pace.
When you start a business, it’s all trial and error when it comes to which systems and processes work best. Take the time to figure out what isn’t working and once you figure out what does, capitalize on it and perfect it. Every six months or every quarter, I recommend seeing what the company’s needs are and brainstorming how to implement a better system.
For example, if you're selling a line of products, make sure there’s enough inventory and that all operations are running seamlessly (whether it’s the check-out process on the website, working through any quirks with the manufacturer who's shipping the product to consumers, etc.). Resolving these situations will help prevent stress in the future, especially if there’s a drastic uptick in sales and huge demand.
Hire the right people (and delegate).
As an entrepreneur, it’s normal to feel like the weight of the business is on your shoulders and all aspects are your responsibility. However, you have to realize that you can't do it all and, for the sake of the business, you need to delegate to others and hire the right team members to take on various roles.
For example, if finance isn't in your zone of genius, hire a credible expert within the space and appoint them as the finance director to oversee everything related to your business’s finances. Then, meet with them weekly to go over spending, income, upcoming projects, potential red flags and so forth.
If there's a space that I'm not well-versed in, I'll always come prepared with questions during internal meetings to ensure I understand what it is they’re doing (or explaining to me) and that those processes are going smoothly. Don't feel insecure about not knowing the ins and outs of one sector.
I take so much pride in my business and what I've created. However, I had to learn quickly to hire the right people, especially those who are more skilled than I am. Not only has this been better for my business, but it has prevented me from experiencing complete burnout. I can't stress enough: It’s OK to let go and let someone else take the reins.
Maintain an adaptive mentality.
Two weeks into lockdown, business owners had to adapt on the fly and find creative ways to change their operating models. Although restrictions are being lifted and it looks like there’s an end in sight, leaders need to take what they learned from the pandemic and remain in that adaptive mindset. What worked well two years ago, may not work post-pandemic. Consumers’ needs are always evolving and that’s OK.
During the pandemic, we were able to maintain our businesses through virtual coaching and gained new clientele across California and the U.S., but we didn't lose sight of what clients needed and how we could best serve them. While we still have two brick-and-mortar locations in California, we know that many of our clients, especially those who aren't based in California, will still want to continue working with us virtually.
The pandemic forced us to cater to our clients' needs and keep them engaged. Whether it was out-of-the-box ideas or new (and more flexible) offerings, I encourage all entrepreneurs to not have tunnel vision when planning for the remainder of 2021 and continue to be flexible as we all transition to this new normal, whatever that may be.