Businesses are always either growing or declining; as they get bigger, they encounter new things. Staying ahead of the curve is a business owner’s job #1. Setting the proper pace for progress is Job #2. Build an education plan for the business to keep things fresh and forward thinking.
Fortunately people tend to be inquisitive. That’s a valuable trait to have in a world that is constantly changing. Like people, a business is better off seeking new knowledge and opportunity for growth. The challenge is growing the business without getting overwhelmed. Business owners have to make a choice. Do they figure out how to do things well and then hold to the status quo? Or do they continually look around for new and better ways of doing things? There’s a balance; enough growth, enough challenge, balanced with time to digest and master.
“Change has always been a constant in the business world. Yet in recent years it has hit us with an unprecedented speed and intensity. The forces shaping our business world today are immense, complex, surprising and challenging”
Business owners are often off chasing the next big opportunity, looking for the next big thing. That’s good because it helps keep the business fresh. And bad if they underestimate the stress that will result. It’s important for every owner to tune in to what’s happening inside the business, as they look for the next milestone to head towards.
Your business must have a clear understanding of capabilities and limitations.
These are some of the questions a business owner needs to answer before heading out to take on the next big idea or challenge. Think about people who have been reliable performers. One day they start making mistakes – more than you’d expect. What’s different? Are they suddenly overwhelmed with a volume of work? Are things at home a distraction? Is it a new task for which they are unprepared? Have work hours changed? Errors are a signal that they’ve just moved beyond a level at which they could be competent.
When mistakes crop up, ratchet things back. Take some tasks off their plate. Check if the tasks they’re doing are ones they’re well suited for and willing to do. Consider re-arranging who does what in order to get a fresh perspective. Have a frank discussion about what they are dealing with and whether they can do more. Solve current breakdowns before jumping ahead.
Engage in controlled growth by building an education plan for the company overall, and for every employee. Identify skills and knowledge needed for a business twice the size. Sort out which employees can take on a lot more, and which might do better with smaller learning assignments. Weave education into the day to day business. Have quarterly progress checks. Look for signs that people are getting better at mastering tasks permanently before deciding to speed things up.
An expanded business usually requires more time. Make sure you and your team are able to manage it – that you realistically have the time and resources. Look at delegation of some of your workload if necessary. Keep in mind that it’s much safer to test your business model thoroughly before expanding. Don’t rush growth. Talk or survey customers regularly, encourage feedback to make sure that your ideas for growth are really what they want. And make sure existing customers never suffer in terms of customer service or quality when you’re focusing on reaching new ones.
How do you manage growth? Is there a plan or is it fly by the seat of your pants? Look at the leaders in our industry, perennial success came by not only hard work, but learning by making mistakes!
Looking for a god book to read on the subject;
Growth and Change Made Easy, by Jeffrey Hansen (Author)
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Steven Cohen, Principal of GreenMark Consulting Group is a business management and operations consultant with more than 25 years of landscape/snow industry experience. Steven has an extensive background in managing cross-functional business operations, business strategy and market growth projects. He prides himself as being both an analytical and a conceptual thinker who effectively partners with business owners to assess opportunities, facilitate strategic decisions, and drive successful implementations. GreenMark Consulting Group specializes in helping growth-oriented companies see through challenges and map out operational and growth strategies.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website @www.greenmarkgroup.com or sign up for our e-news at https://www.greenmarkgroup.com/resources/