You often hear how hard the startup stage is for a new business but not a lot of people address the headaches of growth.
Personally, I think the growth stage is harder than the startup stage…it seems damn near impossible at times. At the startup stage you are focused on obtaining customers and delivering the service or product you are contracted for. Your concerns are money and production.
When you reach the growth stage, you have the customers, money and have tackled a lot of hurdles to even get to the point where you can consider growing.
Harvard Business Review says this of growth: Among the important tasks are to make sure the basic business stays profitable so that it will not outrun its source of cash and to develop managers to meet the needs of the growing business.
The key problems you face are growing rapidly and financing the growth.
Some of the shitty stuff you are up against:
- Delegation. What comes first? The customer? The employee to manage that customer? Where does the salary come from? How do you anticipate growth? How the hell do you manage all of your employees? First step is relinquishing some control, empowering employees and taming your Type A tendencies. Good luck.
- Money. You start growing and bam! you are hit with a larger tax bill, salaries of the new employees you had to hire, expanded office space, equipment costs, benefits and more. Doesn’t the government know that growth costs a shitload of money?
- Resources. How the fuck do you do it all? In the startup stage you are the one managing payroll, tax filing, invoicing and more. When you start growing you often have to outsource these tasks. It becomes necessary to hire a human resource company, payroll company, bookkeeper, accountant or custodial service. Your best bet is to find someone who has been through it and learn from them.
When starting out it was just you and maybe 2 or 3 additional employees, now you have a team of 10, 15, 30 or more. How do you manage it all?
There are days, hell weeks…that I am just physically and mentally done, I contemplate selling or scaling back so it is just me and an employee or two…or I buy an island and sit in the sun drinking tequila. Who am I kidding, I can’t afford an island and every day sitting on the beach staring at the ocean…well that’s just boring.
You know, as well as I do, that we wouldn’t be satisfied doing anything else. So, in the words of my friend Sue…
Shake it off Bode, you’re being a pussy.