One of the best problems a small business owner can be faced with is rapid growth. More customers are entering the doors. The phones seem to be ringing constantly with inquiries. Yes, it can seem overwhelming at times, but every entrepreneur should know this is part of the process towards reaching the end goal.
Every small business has it’s own story. Some start with just one person, who previously worked in the industry as an employee. Others have multiple co-founders and maybe a handful of experienced individuals. At the start, it isn’t uncommon for these original members to work long hours to get the business off the ground. However, you don’t want this lifestyle to stay the norm for the extended future. It’s all about working smarter vs. working harder. A key aspect behind this methodology is understanding you can’t do everything on your own. It may sound cost-effective at the time to do everything possible. However, you didn’t start this business because you love doing all these mundane tasks in addition to the regular owner responsibilities. You started it because of your passion for the industry!
The only way to grow your business is through your team. You may not be able to hire your first employee right away, but when you do, don’t make the mistake of rushing it. Chances are this person could easily develop into your righthand man for years to come. As someone that’s seen a small business grow from a start-up to an established industry leader, the best advice we can give is to determine where your needs are most profound. If you, the owner, would classify as more of a technician (i.e. knowing the entire process to make the product or provide the service), then choose to bring in someone that will have more of an entrepreneurial mindset. After all, you can’t wear all the hats forever. In the end, make sure to hire people that are in it for the long run!
Expansion can be a tricky subject. Say that you have a solid core team and steady list of clients with consistent business. Everything seems to be going great. Wouldn’t this be the perfect time to hire more employees and maybe even invest in more infrastructure? In some cases, it is. However, I urge all small business owners to take a long hard look at what they set out to accomplish from day one. Sometimes, you can make the same margins as a 2-million dollar business as you would at 10-million, while saving more than a handful of headaches. Behind every major decision, there’s two approaches: (1) Risk and (2) Caution. There’s been countless instances where each of these has been the perfect decision. Just as there is plenty of examples of each going awry. When attempting to decide on your expansion plans, don’t hesitate to gather the input of your core team. Chances are they’ve been with you for awhile and are just as committed as yourself to the well-being of the organization.