Here at Light Alive, we are passionate about seeing businesses grow and succeed. As a small business ourselves, we are especially fond of our clients who own small businesses too. When you own a small but thriving business, it feels as if you are going through constant growing pains. Knowing how to maneuver through the constant challenges can seem overwhelming at times.
We know the challenges of growing quickly all too well as our team has grown from just our CEO Angel working as a Freelance Designer to seven of us working regularly in our offie in just over a year! Here are six tips we’ve found that have helped us thrive through our business growing pains.
Don’t let your customer experience change
What is it that drives your success? What is it that keeps customers coming back to you and not going to your competitors? It is important that you make a list of these factors. It is easy to lose sight of the core values and lose the personal touch to your customer relationships you have built during a hectic time of growth.
To put it simply, your customers keep coming back because you are able to provide them with an enjoyable experience and quality products and / or services. Make sure these factors do not change also. Customers can feel frustrated and like you are only focused on your growth if the personalized level of service they are accustomed to goes away as you grow.
Hire the absolute best team
Sometimes when you are in growth mode and you needed a new employee two weeks ago to help manage the workload everyone is drowning in, you may be tempted to hire ‘B’ level talent. Don’t!
Take your time to ensure every hire you make is a good fit. Hiring someone that is not experienced in the position you seek to fill is ok when you are filling a position that becomes vacant. In growth mode however, hire only the best.
We have an amazing team of talented and experienced individuals that really helped us drive our growth in a successful manner. Hiring individuals who can easily come in and “hit the ground running” are important when your business is growing. As a business owner, you have many other issues to tackle without trying to find extensive time to train new hires.
Communicate well with your team
Growth mode is not a season to keep things to yourself either. Being open and keeping your team in the loop will help immensely. Pretending like you have everything figured out has nothing to do with good leadership. Furthermore, admitting you don’t have all the answers can actually strengthen your team and your business. Your team members may have great ideas to tackle certain challenges that result from growth.
Grow in a way that makes sense
Constantly reevaluate your growth as it occurs. Is your growth expected to continue? Will it only be for a season and then level off? These are important questions to ask yourself. It may not make sense to hire new team members if your growth is expected to only be seasonal for example. Can you hire temporary help or contract work out to help you through a busy season?
More importantly, do you have adequate resources, equipment and facilities for your current team? When you become frustrated because of workflow problems during growth, take a look at your software, equipment and your processes. It may be time to make changes and invest in something new that better meets your needs.
Making the decision to grow your facility is a big decision because it requires you to be very forward-thinking. Can you add on space to better meet your needs? Should you move into a new building? Moving into a different location is always a big expense. When we moved to our new building, we knew it would be a great fit because it is big enough that it should accommodate future growth, but not so big that it will be burdensome for us.
Take care of your own growth
Take a few days off to reflect on personal and leadership goals periodically as well. Go visit a place that helps you relax alone. Attend a leadership conference or pick up a new book on leadership you have wanted to check out. You cannot go and go without stopping and not burn out. It is important to take care of yourself too!
Taking some time off to refresh yourself is important, but so is not becoming too comfortable. You will better tackle the next set of business challenges if you take the time to try to foresee what they will be and have plenty of time to strategize. Make goals and invest your time in activities that help keep you motivated. Without a strong grasp of what you want the next phase of your business to look like, your business can drift into a direction you are not satisfied with.
We wish you the best as you grow your business. If you need help navigating business challenges as you grow, please reach out!