Over the course of the past year, business has been booming. While the obvious reaction is congratulatory it does pose some challenges, as managing growth and expansion can be problematic if not handled correctly. Obviously, it is a “problem” that most businesses would welcome with open arms, but seasoned professionals know that the challenges of growth are very real.
Here is my take on the essentials of how businesses can properly manage the challenges that accompany rapid growth.
I strongly believe in a simple philosophic principle … ready for this, things are about to get deep …
“You don’t build a business. You build people and then people build the business.” – Zig Zigler
In that short statement, Mr. Zigler has captured the very essence of running a successful company. Take care of your employees, respect them and make them feel that they are all part of something greater than themselves, a team.
When a business is successful is it directly related back to the efforts and dedication of hard-working employees who care about the business because they view themselves as part of it and not simply working for it.
The Result Is Simple Logic
If you take care of your employees they will take care of the customer, then the customer will take care of you. You must make sure your employees know you care. Stop getting after them for all the wrong they do, teach them. Start praising them for what they do right … build your people.
While you might be overwhelmed with all the new business coming in, don’t lose focus on the fact that a positive customer service experience is the key to every successful business.
Champion this principle and spend your resources to make sure your levels of customer service do not decline during your growth transition. This may mean opening up the checkbook to pay for things like technology improvements, training of staff, hiring of new people, etc. Just make sure you deliver on your promises to your customers and provide them with a way to offer feedback so that you can understand how they perceive your efforts.
Get Your House Right
The culture of your business is the key ingredient in keeping employees engaged with your business and each other (we’ve already discussed how people are the key to building a business).
When businesses go through a period of rapid growth, the realization often hits an owner smack in the face that he/she can no longer rely on the close intimate climate of being a smaller start-up. New management practices are needed to ensure clear communication, a continuation of growth and simply digesting the demands of a higher workflow volume.
Often an owner is faced with the hard transition of having to put complete trust in managers and employees to do their jobs, and do them well, as they no longer have enough hours in the day to oversee every aspect of the business. Simply put, an owner needs to believe in his people and that they will act in the best interest of the business in order to allow the business to grow.
Seems simple enough, but when you have “raised your baby” from the start, it can be hard for an owner to let go and watch them grow up!
Here at Montway, we are currently experiencing such a growth spur. What started out as a small home-based business back in 2006, has grown into one of the largest and well-respected auto transport companies in the US.
Montway today is a nationwide vehicle relocation company servicing both individuals and corporations across all 50 US states. We look forward to the challenges associated with our rapid growth and work hard to maintain the same level of service and customer experience that has been the formula to our continued success.