What to Do When Business is Booming and You’re Growing Too Fast
We all want to do well in business and in life. But rapid business growth means learning how to take big leaps of faith, being open to risks, and most of all, letting go. Corporations can’t be built on single efforts alone and can bring all sorts of challenges, complications, and uncertainty along the way.
Cue the control freak cringe.
Running a successful business means not only trusting others but being receptive to what they bring to the table. Developing a staffing matrix to support rapid growth and anticipating setbacks is part of growing a business. So is learning how to manage, support, and encourage a team. It’s all part of the learning curve.
The biggest challenges I’ve faced in my own career as a designer are hiring and trusting other designers. It’s natural to think you know best if it’s your business, or that someone else’s designs, ideas, or products won’t match up with your business vision.
Building your business is a constant juggling act. When things take off, it’s our natural tendency to wait for the other shoe to drop or get overwhelmed. Here are some gentle reminders to keep it all together when things are going your way.
Outsource the minutiae.
There comes a point for every business owner when they try to do everything and can’t. Being a smart delegator (and then trusting those you delegate to) will make all of the difference between a well-oiled machine and a shit show. Look at what takes up the most time in your business: whether it’s sales calls, returning emails, meetings, inventory, etc., and then find ways to streamline the process, get the right people doing the right things, and free up your time to do what you do best.
Lean into change.
Once you find a system that works in the early days, you might be tempted to stay with it. It worked before; why wouldn’t it work now? As companies grow, so should your vision. Find ways to constantly be ahead of the curve, push boundaries, and break rules. Just because everyone does it one way, doesn’t mean there’s not a more efficient and enjoyable way to conduct business. Lead with enjoyment, fulfillment, and yes, even fun.
Have systems in place.
If you run a company with product, and you suddenly get thousands of orders, are you prepared? If you land ten big clients for your particular skillset, can you be in ten places at once? If you get a big media hit and are flooded with orders, can you fulfill them? Before you ever get lost in the daily hustle, map out your best-case scenario and figure out how much money, people, and resources you need in place when and if that time comes. Prepare for success before it happens so you don’t fall prey to those “overnight” success stories. Do your homework. No one else will.
The biggest asset to growth is preparedness. Look at what growth means for your company and actual strategies to get there. It’s great to dream about success, but what does that actually look like? What are the numbers? Can you afford to expand your team? See your best-case and worst-case scenarios through and through, so you can stay the course (more on that next week), reap the benefits, and really enjoy what you do.