The goal of any business is to grow—expand your customer list, add new locations and staff, and ultimately, increase your income. While growth is great for your business, it could cause friction in your day-to-day operations.
Growing Pain #1: Growing Expenses – Aside from putting more pressure on you to cover them, additional expenses can make managing your budget more complicated. And sometimes added expenses can really skyrocket – we’ve noticed this happening as we moved our business from our humble home office to a retail space. There are so many expenses to worry about in addition to the added rent- our utilities, insurance, security, and payroll expenses have all increased from this one move.
How To Manage: This will be a good time to track your expenses—they can really start to snowball if you’re not keeping an eye on them. This is also the time to set new sales goals. Growth should be good for your business, and return more profit to you in the long run.
Growing Pain #2: Shifting Priorities – When growing your business results in more locations or more staff (or both!), your focus will shift toward your new ventures. This is only appropriate, but it can also shift your time and energy away from the part of your business that is focused on sales, or from parts of your business that you might have enjoyed. Specifically, hiring a manager, becoming a manager, or training new staff can be very time intensive.
How To Manage: Redefining your roles will take some getting used to, and you may find yourself in a time crunch as you initially take on added responsibilities. This is where time management will help- if you’re scattered and not seeing tasks through to completion, changing your schedule could help to keep you better organized. Triaging your work will help you to maximize your productivity. Read more about time management here.
Growing Pain #3: Shifting Work/Life Balance – You want your new projects to succeed of course—so you might not see it as a bad thing (or even notice) when your business starts absorbing more and more of your precious time. Remember: when new ventures become successful, they become new time commitments too. Even if your success is profitable, you could feel additional stress if the life side of your work/life balance is neglected.
How To Manage: While new ventures obviously require more of your time initially, make sure to still take time to do things you enjoy personally. It will not only help to balance you, it will also serve as stress relief (and your friends and family will thank you, too.)
Growing Pain #4: More Income – I know—it’s hard to think of this as a problem! But the reality is if you’re making more money, it can become difficult to know how to reinvest it. Will you increase your compensation, or reinvest additional profits back into your business? Does making more money put you into a new tax bracket? It’s easy to understand why most lottery winners end up broke in a matter of years—not knowing how to properly manage your money can be the same as not having it at all.
How To Manage: While you’re tracking your expenses and establishing new sales goals, predict how much your profits could increase. By anticipating this change, and perhaps with the help of your accountant or financial advisor, you will be better prepared to manage your cash flow.
Growing Pain #5: Realizing Your Limitations – When a business is in the first stages of growth, the sky can seem like the limit. But it can be difficult, if not impossible, to continue to grow at such a fast rate. Or maybe it’s your own limitations, your time, or your vision for your company. You might want to grow to a certain point, and then settle in to what you’ve created. For other people, the growth of wealth and power is insatiable. This depends on you and your own comfort level.
How To Manage: It can be difficult knowing your own limitations, or even realizing that you have any. The more you in tune you are with what you want and expect out of your business, the more satisfied you will become once you achieve it.