Its drummed into us all the time that you’re business has to keep on growing, why because if you don’t you stand still and everyone passes you by. Growing makes sense!.
Now there is a real problem with business growth, not gaining more clients or even retaining the ones you have initially. Ive witnessed it so many times during my career and whilst running my own business for the last 6 years.
Most business start out as 1 or two people with an idea a passion or a product, it works well ticks over nicely. The reason is everyone involved knows everyone else, knows the strategy, know the goals. The business is small enough to react adapt and change direction.
Systems will tend to involve excel spread sheet, off the shelf software you know the stuff that works and is designed for medium type use and a few users with not a lot of data. Processes aren’t needed to be written down because they been leant or passed within the teams, why would you need to write a process if its just you and your partner, yes a waste of time.
The business owners are the, HR department , the PA, the marketing team, The customer service department, the engineering team, project development, process mapping … you get the picture they do everything and prob only outsoruce say the accounts to a professional.
Now unless you’ve been trained in all those areas and are really, really good at each one at some point you’re going to have a problem. Here is why, you’ll get busy and you will focus on the elements you like to do. Even if you think you wont you will its human nature. So that’s the first issue identifying when you need help or an employee, remember those processes you never wrote down well osmosis works for plants but not training employees.
Secondly, generally when a business expands or grow’s it bolts on things to what it already has , because its easier to do that than change everything. Financially it makes sense to, why re engineer your entire business every time you add something new to it “Crazy”. It pretty much like having a property it fits you’re budget and needs at the beginning , then you out grow the space so add more space or rent/buy another storage property to store stuff, or produce part of a product lets say.
You end up with various spread sheets with bits of data in or multiple systems. Whilst you’ve been busy growing the processes or methods of work you’ve bolted onto.
So that nice little business or building to the outside world looks like the house that jack built. It in no way works effectively yes it still runs but a lot slower than if you had got an architect to design a purpose built house or premises with your expanded needs or even future requirements it would look totally different.
This is where I tend to find myself going into a company, the business employees and owners have grown with these changes and don’t notice them. Pretty much like the frog placed into a pan of cold water that’s heated, slowly over time it gets hotter and the frog does not notice till its too late.
I see it time and again those closest to the business don’t notice the water increasing in temp.
So what needs to happen, well its worth looking at your business especially if you’re going through growth or are finding your not as effective or losing clients to competitors. If you bring a person from outside which does not have to be 5 days a week for 3 months it could be for a day a week or even a day a month until the business has deployed some new systems, processes or effective ways of working. Think of it like business renovation not the building but the interior workings day to day. Most people will agree if they needed some building work done and they were of with a bit of DYI the chances are they would get a professional build in to say do an extension. So when it come to you’re business being in someone with the right tool box, experience and time to focus on it for you. You’ll save money in the end and the results you’ll be proud of.
Duggystone “can we fix it, yes we can”