If your small business is in the process of growing, you’re probably feeling some uncomfortable growing pains. You don’t have time to work on the business. Your team is stressed and feeling overloaded.
But during those times when you feel like you’re growing faster than you can keep up with, there are some things you can do to make life more bearable.
With these tactics, you can spend a lot less time suffering and get to a better place a whole lot faster.
Let Technology Help
Automation is one of the most-loved terms in business right now — from technology to marketing. Take some time to figure out where you can implement automation to free up more time and mental bandwidth for your team members where it makes sense — whether that’s with email automation, a marketing technology stack, or both.
For example: If your online marketing person is spending hours everyday analyzing conversion funnels, customer sessions on your website, etc., look for a tool that can reduce the amount of time necessary for this process — like SessionCam’s CS Score tool.
Technology can not only provide more robust data, but it can make life easier for your employees, too. Put it to good use.
If you need support for your growing business but don’t want to hire full-time team members, consider contractors or freelancers who can help fill the gaps for you. You’ll get specialized, high-quality work without having to rent more office space or pay healthcare benefits — and your internal team can focus on other objectives.
Consider outsourcing tasks like:
Blog content (look for freelance writers on your favorite blogs or via sites like Upwork)
Accounting/Bookkeeping (virtual assistants can be found through resources like Zirtual)
Social media (look for a local agency or an independent contractor)
Communicate More Often
With growth often comes confusion — because so many things are happening at once. Communication goes missing. Think about holding a morning meeting, sending out an internal newsletter, or at least creating a Slack channel that you can use to keep everyone on the same page about major developments and processes. You’ll spend less time chasing down facts from different people and your team will feel more involved in the big picture.
Keep in mind that this means looping in your remote team, too. If you have team members who work around the globe, set up a time you can all hop on a phone or video call that works for everyone (regardless of location).
As a new business owner, the idea of turning away customers might seem terrifying and ill-advised. But when business is flowing faster than you can paddle, you have to use your valuable bandwidth wisely. That sometimes means saying no to one client, so you can focus on, and truly wow, a more valuable one.
To decide who gets a ‘yes,’ look at metrics like customer lifetime value in addition to more intangible factors like how easy they are to work with and how passionate you are about the work they bring.
It’s a scary prospect, but I promise you’ll be able to better manage your workload and maintain the quality of work all these new customers are expecting. And don’t forget that when you really knock someone’s socks off, there will be plenty more referral business coming your way.
Re-evaluate Job Titles and Descriptions
As your team grows with your company, it’s important to always be looking at who’s doing what, and the most appropriate people to tackle new, emerging tasks. If you’re not hiring at a pace that’s on par with your growth, many new jobs wind up being dumped on current employees with little to no warning — and that’s a good way to smother morale and burn out your team.
Sometimes, this means re-evaluating job titles and descriptions so that everyone is on the same page about who’s doing what and why. Don’t be afraid to offer promotions and pay raises, either — your team deserves to be rewarded for taking on more work and enabling this rapid growth.
For example: If your business is growing, your marketing department is probably taking on new tasks all the time. They’re launching email newsletters, handling social media, coordinating PR, and a million other things. This might mean to you need to appoint a marketing manager, and then help that person assemble a support team that handles specific marketing activities.
Growing Pains: May They Be Short-Lived
With these tactics at your disposal, you can move past the painful part and get into a more stable, less hectic state of your business. Growing pains mean good things are happening — but they can be hard on you and your team. Try to move past them with grace, and in no time, you’ll be at the next level with a business that’s effectively managing growth.