5 pitfalls to avoid when growing or scaling a business

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    Growing a business is an exciting prospect for any It’s something you dream about and hope for, because it means you’ve had some measure of success. It means the idea you’ve been committed to for years makes sense and adds value to your customers.

    With growth comes challenges. Although you have probably planned this moment for a long time, there are always nuances in the current situation. You must be willing to be flexible and embrace change. A leader must have the ability to recognize and realize when things need to evolve, whether in their individual role or in key components of the established culture.

    Leaders who fail to recognize this can be lured into certain pitfalls that can serve as bottlenecks that hinder growth and eventual success. With that in mind, here are five key pitfalls to avoid when growing your business.

    Related: How to sustainably scale your business

    1. Not knowing how and when to scale

    Growing a business naturally requires a fair amount of preparation before you embark on the journey. However, scaling the business, or increasing revenue faster than costs, is an entirely different challenge.

    Scaling is all about timing – especially not starting too early – and making sure that the processes entered are airtight. As exciting as scaling your business can be, it’s extremely important to take the time to evaluate needs, refine processes and pain points, and not scale too quickly. This will ultimately put the company in a better position for long-term growth.

    Determining repeatable and reproducible processes, including viable resources and technology, helps standardize elements of the business that make it more efficient, while freeing up other resources to focus on innovation. The discipline of scaling, at the right time, will go a long way to helping your business grow successfully.

    2. Sticking to Certain Day-to-Day Responsibilities

    When my co-founder and I first started our business in 2010, we covered every aspect of the business, from the biggest idea to the tiniest details of day-to-day business.

    If you were to fast forward five years – after experiencing significant success and adding several dozen team members – my day-to-day responsibilities became vastly different. Fast forward to today, and my daily tasks are different again.

    One of the many benefits of growing the business is the ability to hire people with the expertise to bring the attention, focus, and skills needed to grow. Hiring people with the right skills gives team members the opportunity to own critical aspects of the business and gives them autonomy to do what they do best and reach the level needed to drive the company’s success. stimulate.

    With the right people to sustain and grow the current business, leadership can focus on the necessary planning, resources and relationship building to enable future growth.

    Related: 5 Scaling Mistakes Entrepreneurs Should Avoid

    3. Require that every task and project align 100% with your vision

    With all due respect to my actual children, my business is my baby. I’ve raised it from infancy and still spend countless hours thinking about and exploring different ways to optimize our approach and fulfill our mission. That’s why I empathize with startup leaders who are specific in how they want to see their vision realized.

    Regardless of the vision, the reality is that changes will take place from idea to execution. Some will be significant based on legal or regulatory requirements, while others can be nuanced based on other factors, such as the needs of the public. Either way, be prepared that adjustments to your vision are inevitable.

    I’ve learned that if a project is 80% to 90% what I had in mind, it’s a success. In the end, I mapped out the path and hired the team to lead it.

    4. Forgetting your team has valuable perspectives

    This is perhaps a more eloquent way of saying: don’t let your ego take over. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen leaders make is assuming that their years of experience, market knowledge, and familiarity with the business they’ve built means they know best.

    When you’re so invested, you need to be reminded that there are people within your company who are hired for their expertise, experience, and diversity of thinking. Their perspective is invaluable in terms of looking objectively at the viability of certain trends and assessing needs, such as whether your company really has the internal resources it needs to build a new technology platform.

    As leaders, it is important for us to remember that we hire highly qualified people not only to perform certain tasks, but to provide perspectives that complement and sometimes challenge our own perspectives. Learn to trust and empower the people you hire, because without them you can’t grow.

    Related: This three-pronged approach will help you scale your business to new heights

    5. Assuming the company culture always stays the same as you grow

    A culture that feels like a family is possible, and it can be hugely empowering and morale boosting with a team of 10, 15 or 25 people. However, as the business grows to triple digits and services and capabilities grow and change, the approach to culture inevitably evolves with it. As a leader, it can be difficult to wrap your head around the change.

    While change is difficult, it is necessary. More importantly, it is possible to evolve while also staying true to your mission and purpose. It starts with hiring people at all levels that fit the organization. It’s also critical to offer flexible work options and a range of benefits that suit your team members and keep you competitive in the marketplace.

    These pitfalls serve to remind leaders that change is inevitable and a natural part of growth. From changing the scope of your role to scaling the business and managing culture change, it’s all part of the process. Being aware of the need to change and being flexible can help avoid these pitfalls and lead to success.

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