Today’s post comes courtesy of business contributor Robert Rayford
While business expansion is an exciting process for owners and managers, it is also a difficult path that is lined with potential pitfalls and problems. How a business manages growth phases can be pivotal to whether or not expansion is successful. If mismanaged in any way, a business on the periphery of expansion can suddenly find itself facing extinction.
We explored the challenges that businesses face during expansion, and how best to deal with them.
This is a particular problem when opening new premises, as businesses often need to upgrade server space or system capabilities in order to host new hardware. Such an issue is common within retail businesses, which will often require that large levels of data are shared and fed into one server that holds the complete company overview.
Cloud-based software is the typical way for businesses to get around this, as they can easily increase their usage requirements and simply log all new systems onto where the data is being held. This means business expansion can happen without hitches, and allows new sites to be ‘on-line’ and operating almost immediately.
Service Drop Off
When businesses expand quickly and unexpectedly, this is often the most dangerous time. If a business is flooded with clients at once, employees can struggle to keep up with demand, which in turn can lead to a drop off in the quality of work produced, or in the levels of service provided.
Once word gets out that your business is unreliable, that could mean disaster, even if you have subsequently been able to correct any issues.
Where possible, businesses should look to outsource work in order to meet their clients’ demands, especially if expansion has been unexpected. Should a business be at a stage where growth is planned, then extra employees should be taken on in plenty of time so that expansion is a natural next step.
Owners Become Managers
One of the lesser explored or considered problems is how business expansion causes owners to become managers. While in some cases, this is a natural progression, for some it can be a huge step to take, especially if a business owner lacks particular qualities needed to manage and inspire a group of employees.
Business owners who are concerned about their management skills could consider the possibility of hiring someone in a managers’ role to oversee operations and processes. Alternatively, they could read leadership books and explore ways to develop their own skills so that they become a great leader as well as the owner of a great business idea.
Recognising the potential problems that business growth can bring is best done early, so that plans and processes are already in place for every eventuality.
About the Author
Robert Rayford writes online content across a variety of topics, taking a strong interest in business development and expansion. Robert’s areas of expertise include point of sale systems, using cloud-based software for business efficiency, and customer relationship management.