According to a recent study from the Fox Small Business Center, Houston, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Denver, Seattle and Dallas-Fort Worth are the top five metro areas for business growth. While having a growing business in one of those areas or any other area around the world is an impressive accomplishment, that doesn’t mean growth is free of challenges. On the contrary, rapid growth can mean that a business has to tackle challenges that it never anticipated.
If you read the previous sentence and thought “I wish my business had to deal with those types of challenges,” chances are it’s because your business isn’t growing as quickly as you’d like. And if your business has been in that position for awhile, it’s normal to feel like you’re never going to reach the growth level you feel it should be at. However, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for being stuck. Instead, you need to identify exactly what’s holding you back so that you can take steps to eliminate that obstacle.
Since a lot of businesses face at least one of the same obstacles, let’s go over a list of the most common ones that hinder growth:
Don’t Have a Pipeline of Potential Employees
If your hiring process only kicks into gear once you feel a pain within the business, there’s a good chance you’re stuck in a cycle that’s hindering your growth. Not only does finding the right candidate take time, but actually getting them into the swing of working within your company takes time as well. As a result, there are two things you should do to solve this problem.
The first is to always be on the lookout for potential talent. By establishing relationships with people who may be the right fit for your company, you won’t have to start from scratch when it’s actually time to hire. The second is to hire a little ahead of time. So if your projections show that a department is going to need someone new three months from now, begin the hiring process now so that person will be ready when the time that they’re really needed comes.
Systems Don’t Exist or Aren’t Robust Enough
While this issue can vary significantly based on the specific business, it still boils down to a lack of the right system. For example, a company that’s in the food industry and hiring rapidly may suddenly realize that their basically manual approach to payroll doesn’t scale. In order to fix that problem, they need to upgrade to an actual payroll service. Another example is if a manufacturing company suddenly sees a significant increase in demand. In order to meet that demand, they may need to expand or upgrade their equipment. So if there’s a sticking point within your operations, you need to identify exactly what it is, and then find the best system to solve that problem.
Your Employees Can’t Take You to the Next Level
Of all the obstacles a business can encounter, this one is arguably the hardest. Although the solution itself is fairly straightforward, the reason it’s so hard is because it brings emotions into play. In many cases, many members of a team that help a company reach a level like $5 million in sales won’t be able to help it reach $50 million in sales. This is simply because they don’t have the experience necessary to operate at that level.
While parting ways with employees who have been with you for quite awhile is never easy, that may be exactly what’s needed in order for your business to move forward. If you do decide that’s the course of action you need to take, don’t be afraid to emphasize that this isn’t a personal decision. Instead, the course that person’s role is going to take will simply require someone with more experience.
Cash Flow is an Issue
When it comes to growth, cash flow is very often king. That’s why even when a business is growing and has ample amounts of credit, it’s crucial to keep an eye on this metric to avoid future problems. And if you’re currently struggling with this issue, significant short-term cuts may be what’s required for long-term success.
Regardless of how long growth has seemed elusive, if you take the time to identify the exact obstacle that’s holding you back, you should be able to come up with a solution and begin moving towards the next goal you have for your company.