If you are a business owner then scaling can be an exciting experience. It can signal that your business has undergone significant growth. That being said, you must handle this growth as well as possible. If you grow too fast then this can come with dire consequences. In this post, we are going to run through some of the most common mistakes that companies make when they try to scale their business too quickly, so you can avoid them when embarking on your growth journey.
You Become Sidetracked
When you grow your business too fast, you may become sidetracked. As you rapidly expand, it becomes too easy to get drawn to the myriad of possibilities for the future. You may find that you forget to focus on the essentials and struggling as a result. Avoid this by simply maintaining focus and not getting sucked into too many new ideas. You’ll soon be able to reap the benefits if you adopt this approach.
Failing to Prioritize
Similarly, as you see new opportunities pour in, you may find yourself shifting focus from sensible ideas to new and attractive opportunities. If possible, you need to stay disciplined and you also need to prioritize the things that have to be effectively managed. This is the best way for you to avoid several pitfalls later down the line.
Losing Track of Goals
Scaling often leads to convoluted ideation. You have to make sure that your goals are at the forefront of every single decision. If you don’t then you may end up not achieving anything, and this is the last thing you need.
Not Testing the Market
As your company grows, you may find that you end up losing confidence in your own skills and general instincts. It’s a huge mistake for you to think that you don’t have to test the market at all before you go into a new territory. You need to do market research as well as running a focus group. Gather customer feedback so you can ensure that your market strategy is as good as it can be. Failure to do so can result in you having both cash flow issues and catastrophic losses.
Failure to Log all Processes
Owners of companies that grow too quickly often forget to log and document the different processes involved with scaling. This can result in errors during the recruitment process as well as general disorganization through onboarding. While you may sometimes feel as though you are swept off your feet, you do need to take the time to document your processes, for your own sake. If you can do this then you will soon be able to reap the benefits.
Hiring too Fast
When scaling a business, you will understandably have to take on new team members. Don’t panic here and don’t try to do everything too fast. You need to take diligent measures to make sure that you are hiring the right people for the job. Bad hires will cost your business a small fortune, so take the time to go through your recruitment process and ensure that you always have the right people onboard. If you don’t then you may find it much harder to grow your business as you’d like.
Overworking your Team
As your company begins to grow, sometimes, it can feel as though there is a lot of work to do. From ideation to new revenue channels and more, you do have to make sure that you aren’t overworking your staff to the point where they become less productive and stressed. This will result in you halting or even slowing the growth of your team as they will be stretched too thin. If you want to avoid this then prioritize the tasks that you have to do and make sure that you feel supported. Hire new employees when you need to, so you can ensure that everyone is a good fit for your company.
Failure to Train
A big problem for a lot of companies is that they grow too fast. This usually means that a considerable amount of staff don’t end up doing their job correctly. As a result of this, you end up with poor productivity, as well as staff liability. When you do take on recruits, you need to make sure that you give them thorough training and that you help them feel confident when doing their job. If you can do this then you will be able to boost productivity as well as overall efficiency within the company.
Going into Debt
When you begin to expand your company, you will need to put down a lot of money. If you don’t then you may find that you end up struggling to cover all of your expenses and this is the last thing you need. If you want to work around this then one thing you need to do is take out a loan. If you take out unsecured business loans then this will help you to cover everything without depleting your personal or business funds. With that in mind, you need to make sure that you also take into account the fact that you will have to pay interest until you have paid the loan back. If you want to work around this then make sure that you work out exactly how much you need to cover your expansion and then take out a loan as small as possible. If you can do this then you will soon find that things end up working in your favor.
Scaling Too Late
Scaling too late can mean that you end up missing out on a world of opportunity. If you are inundated with demands, in the midst of a shift or if you have overly superior unit economics then it may be past time for you to scale. Don’t let your competition, who probably have inferior products, steal your market share just because you don’t have the right resources. If you let this happen then you may end up running into a world of difficulty at a later date.
Hiring the Wrong Leaders
If you hire the wrong leaders when scaling then this can impact you significantly. Finding the right people for the right role is so important. Avoid the temptation to hire people who are just like you. You need to diversify where possible and you also need to take the time to cover different perspectives. Be wary of hiring leaders who come from companies that are far too big, or far too small. Document the outcomes you need and make sure that you know what comes next. You also need to understand what skills you need to reach your business goals, so you can make solid decisions going forward. If possible, also take the time to look into what culture you have and whether or not your team fit in with the expectations you have of them.
Overlooking your Operation
As a founder, it is so important that you scale your infrastructure. Document any core processes you may have, as well as your shared documents. Invest in HR and hire people, including an HR manager. Don’t skip out on tech where possible and also focus on data tracking and analytics. Trust the leaders who you have hired already because you have worked so hard to recruit them in the first place. Make sure that you give them a lot of direction and also make sure you give them a great deal of support too. If you can do this then things are bound to work in your favor.
Not Qualifying Leads
Another mistake that people make when trying to scale their business is not qualifying leads. Just because someone shows an interest in your business, doesn’t mean that they are a good fit.
You have to qualify your leads and you also need to make sure that they align with your business goals. If you can do this then you will soon find that it is easier for you to focus your efforts on those who are the most likely to convert. If you want some help with your leads then one thing you need to do is make sure that they have the budget to solve the problem, and that they are also willing to put the money down to do so as well. If you can, you also need to look into the decision-making process. Are you having a chat with the right people? Do you have a lead-scoring methodology? If possible, give priority to leads that tick all of the boxes. If you don’t then you may find that you find it way harder to navigate what you need in the future.
If you need some help scaling your business then hiring a business mentor could be a good idea. When you hire a mentor you can count on them to give you the advice you need, while also helping you answer any questions you might have along the way, so keep that in mind if you can.