Disaster planning is good practice for businesses of any size. Planning for growth should be just as important. Your business plans for 2016 may include adding new product lines, expanding to more locations, and/or adding new employees. But, is your company prepared for the growth you envision?
Getting Prepared for Growth
Here are some business tips to help your company prepare for the growth your 2016 goals will bring:
- Make sure your company’s organization structure can handle the anticipated growth. For example, if you are expanding your retail stores into a new region, do you have the organizational structure to handle it? Can your existing human resources department handle additional employees in a completely different region? Can your current distribution structure handle the additional region?
- Ensure your company’s processes are scalable. Let’s say you have your hourly employees doing manual time sheets. If you have 10 employees, that is not so bad. If your growth will give you 50 employees, that manual process will be too cumbersome. Adding a web-based time tracking system, like Clockspot, will make tracking time much easier.
- Get your team on board. When your company starts its growth spurt, your people will be taking on more work. They need to understand why the growth is occurring and what they can expect as far as changes to the organization, its processes, and related matters. Keeping employees informed of the changes will help make the growth easier to manage for everyone.
- Hire employees based on where your projected growth will be, not where it is now. Among business tips, this is one that is often overlooked. If you expect your company to double is size in the next three years, you don’t want to hire people that are only capable of running your company at its current size. You want to hire the people who will help your company grow, not stay where it is.
- Keep your customers in the loop. You depend on your current customers to maintain your current business size. However, as your company grows, you will be taking on new customers. Don’t forget that your current customers are still the backbone of your business. Keep in touch with them. Be open to their questions. This helps retain these customers as your company absorbs new ones.
- Stay true to your core business. It is so easy for a company to lose sight of why it was created in the first place. The thoughts of growing in new areas are important, but not at the expense of what made the company successful in the first place. Trying to grow in a way that is not true to your business’ core will only confuse your customers and diminish your overall business objectives.
- Protect your cash flows and credit lines. Rapid growth can strain any business’ cash reserves. Before you decide to expand, you need to make sure that your cash flows and credit lines can handle the growth. Keep in touch with your financial partners. Keep on top of your cash flow projections and credit predictions so that you can keep on growing without starving your business of needed cash.
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Planning for things to go right is just as important as planning for when things go wrong. As your company grows, you need to be prepared so that you can manage the growth as it happens.