Business growth

Managing business expansion and growth

Key points in this article

  • Decide on key performance indicators to evaluate tasks
  • Be prepared to adjust your leadership style
  • Monitor competitor movements closely

Managing your business as it grows

Finding it hard to keep control as your business grows? Once things reach a certain threshold, you can no longer oversee everything – but you still want your business to produce a consistently high standard of goods or services.

Determine some key performance indicators

Decide on some key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate key tasks, and work out how you’ll get regular data for each. Examples could be:

  • Complaints – have a maximum monthly limit as well as a system for dealing with each one individually. Also look at their causes and make changes so they don’t happen again
  • Production levels – make sure staff know how much work they should achieve weekly, fortnightly, or monthly
  • Sales – you might consider bonuses for staff whose sales are better than expected
  • Absenteeism – encourage less time off with a great working culture and attendance perks.

Sit down with your staff members and determine what your business’s and their KPIs will be

Developing your leadership skills

As well as changing how your business runs, you’ll probably need to adjust your style too. Do you need to develop skills in managing people, leading teams, optimising growth opportunities, business innovation, or attracting second-stage investment?

Think hard about what you can delegate to keep your business rolling. Most employees want to use their initiative, come up with ideas for working more efficiently, and be rewarded for their efforts. Brainstorming with advisers and staff may produce some great solutions to keep your business rolling while you adjust your focus.

Once you hand over particular tasks to your team, you may not always be on hand to help. Are they crystal-clear about your expectations and equipped to meet them? Think about what someone new in the role would need to know.

Leading is something learned – be prepared to adapt, change and grow

Plan for increased competition

Growth attracts competition. If your growth starts taking away your competitors’ market share, they may try to counter your progress by:

  • Dropping their prices
  • Adding new products
  • Sponsoring industry events
  • Placing more emphasis on research and innovation
  • Advertising to your customers with the aim of winning them back
  • Discrediting your business

Keep an eye out for new competitors too. Other businesses or new start ups may think about entering your market because of your success. Can you develop barriers to their entry, such as:

  • Contracting clients to a fixed period of time
  • Customer loyalty programmes
  • Intellectual property (IP) protection

It’s important to keep a close eye on your competitors, both current and potential ones

Protect your business

There are always risks when others take control of certain duties in your business. Consider putting non-disclosure agreements into employment contracts.

If your staff handle cash or have access to IP, you need to have systems in place to prevent the temptation to steal or use your business’s intellectual property (such as designs, branding and ideas) for their own personal gain.

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