Contrary to what most people believe, scaling up might not always be good for some businesses, especially when it happens too fast. There’s nothing wrong with growth, but when it’s quicker than normal and without effective response, it can put businesses in a difficult situation.
It could start with lots of adrenaline, but over time, it wears off. Things just got difficult, it’s hard to make decisions, and you start to realize that you’ve scaled up prematurely. These are just a few of the signs your business is growing unhealthily.
But When Is a Business Healthily Growing?
When you’re on the right track of growth, you can immediately feel all its positive impact on your company. Here are some signs your business is growing right:
Experiencing new things daily
The first indication that your business is growing is that it’s taking on new tasks every day. Going out of the comfort zone is one aspect of growth. All the new undertakings will determine if you’ll fail or accomplish the demand. Once you gracefully meet the new demands, your business will keep learning and growing, even.
Expanding the audience or customer base
When your audience or customer base expands, you will notice companies from different industries and sizes pour in. These customers start to use your products or services in various ways.
One good thing about this is that when the audiences’ or customers’ interest suddenly drops for your product or services, you have a steady source of leads and prospects.
Increasing demand and great feedback
Customers start to let you know they’re satisfied with what you offer. This time, you’re getting increasing demand for your products or services. Your customers also interact with you better, especially giving you great feedback and constructive criticisms that can help you point out what doesn’t work.
Just as customers leave more positive reviews or feedback, other business owners start following you on your social media platforms, even asking you to share your business tips. With an expanding network, you get more ideas about the unexplored markets in your industry too.
Furthermore, with the growing demand for your products or services, there might also be a need to expand your space, such as moving or relocating to a bigger workplace or enlarging your existing office.
People contacting you regularly
Potential employees, customers, business partners, or collaborators would regularly fill in your email. All these make you start to consider whether you hire more people or allow a potential business partner to collaborate with you.
Getting more attention
Once your business flourishes internally, external sources such as bloggers and journalists start to pour in, asking you to do guest posts, features, or interviews for their blog, live videos, or podcasts. These external sources further strengthen your internal operations.
Work culture becoming positive
Once a business is expanding, business owners will soon realize that it’s important that they keep an uplifting attitude to their employees to create a positive atmosphere and get on the same page with everyone.
Improving the workflow
When you’ve strategized an excellently functioning workflow, you can easily get ahead for the months and years of business operations. Having efficient operations that work well even at a test of time is one indication your business is growing healthily.
When Is Business Growth a Problem?
There’s such a thing as businesses growing unhealthily too. Here are some signs a company is growing all too sudden, putting itself in a difficult, slow status instead:
Breaking down your business’ foundation
It’s good to challenge the workflow or business processes now and then, but when growth is breaking the foundation of your business—the culture, capital, etc.—it might be a sign that the growth is taking a toll on the business instead.
Getting lots of complaints
You might have used to perform well, but with yet fewer staff members not able to keep up with the demand and big costs or cash flow gaps in meeting them, you get more complaints on your now-subpar products and services instead. These complaints should get to you, or they would manifest in the form of diminishing revenue.
The five core dimensions of business are not growing parallel
In business, there are five cores of business—business model, team, services or products, customers, financials—all of which should grow parallel to one another so the business can operate efficiently.
Get your business up and going the right healthy way, with all its aspects growing in parallel. It takes a delicate balance in all aspects of the business, not one outgrowing the other. Make sure you can proactively deal with the changes right away.