TechInAfrica – Have you listened to Architects’ song called Dying to Heal? The post-hardcore, metalcore band warned us to not fly too close to the sun—or so they implied. This, whilst applicable towards our respective personal lives, can also apply towards small to medium-scale businesses experiencing rapid growth in their early stages. Forever 21, for example, filed for bankruptcy following their rapid global expansion (which, needless to say, proved to be a wrong move for the fast fashion line). Often considering the complications, costs, or trends in the market to be insignificant contributing factors, businesses often welcome downfall after growing too quickly.
Then again, we’re not claiming that growth is a bad thing; expansion is more than necessary for a company to thrive and flourish in their markets. With correct planning and efficient execution, it can launch businesses to a whole new level of success and profitability. Most businesses tackle expansion prematurely whilst they weren’t ready to withstand the process—elements like staff, systems, economic balance, or even customer base satisfaction are the ones that determine the achievement of your next steps.
Before businesses expand, they themselves must highlight the flaws and the strengths of their company. When an expansion in question is within hand’s reach, the time might be right. Check out these three steps to further back your investment plan up:
Finding your core mission
A core mission for a company expansion is like a traveler without a map; doable, but far less proficient. A core mission helps the process in highlighting the important contributing factors, decisions, and goals within the business’ growth phase. This could also build innovative products and service deliveries as if they were a natural extension of the company’s new steps—they shouldn’t seem to be forced and still maintaining relevancy to the phases before the expansion.
Jason McCann, CEO of Varidesk, a full office furniture company, professed. “With a proven core business, you’ll have momentum and presence, and there will be interest in your next move,” whilst discussing about Amazon and its earlier investments.
Listen to your customers
Okay, you may (or may not) have read our story regarding whether you should listen to your customers all the time. Customer feedback provides a great overview on your target consumers, as well as providing key points on what they really want and/or what they think is lacking to satisfy them further. Why did they buy your products in the first place? How do you fare against similar competitors in the market? These questions can be easily answered by looking at customer reviews and satisfactory surveys.
In addition, customers are your best testers. They can see and point out flaws in your system in which founders and executives are oblivious about. This, paired with their ability to see your business in a recipient’s perspective, could be of help in developing new breakthrough through your services. Creative ways to improve—outside your comfort zone—are often defined by customers.
Amplify your human resources
More business means more people to handle daily operations and transactions. This means hiring and developing more employees to facilitate and address the growing demands. Ideally, new employees would need understand the idea and the purpose behind their work and not just blindly following orders to pay their bills.
Despite this, onboarding a new employee takes time and it’s probably best to plan this notion way ahead of the company’s expansion.
All in all, growth for businesses is as potentially profitable as it is deadly. If undergone without proper planning, resource plotting, or goal mapping, expansions can serve as a downfall for those who are not ready.