While some businesses grow and evolve over time, others can change shape almost overnight. The main reason for the rapid expansion of a company tends to be a buyout or merger, where one business is incorporated into the other, bringing along all of its staff and systems in the process. Another reason for rapid growth is sudden and sustained demand, which is increasingly common for small tech-based startup firms with well-received products or services.
These business transitions are complicated, and one key issue to consider is the cost of such expansion. Company growth should be a time of profit and a sign of success, but the downtime, productivity dips and internal costs can often offset the benefit of expansion – at least for the first year or two. However, there are some ways your business can mitigate the risks and costs of rapid company growth, and ensure any expansion is smooth and successful.
Ramp up your connectivity solutions
When a company expands and there is a sudden influx of additional staff, the internet and telephone systems can rapidly become overwhelmed by the increased demand on the network. There are often complications with incompatible phone systems, or with incorporating one company’s systems into another. These communication problems can lead to expensive downtime, failure to send and receive vital information – and eventually, to missed sales and dissatisfied customers.
A managed services provider like ASL Group can ease this process by providing a connectivity audit and creating a tailored telephony and internet package, which can be scaled up to handle periods of high demand and guarantee a stable connection. New eased lines can also be installed to provide a dedicated corporate channel that can handle voice and data transmissions, with guaranteed speeds no matter how busy the network becomes.
Hiring staff during a business expansion
When a company expands quickly due to a sudden surge in demand, it is important to have enough staff available to meet that demand. However, expansion is a risky time financially, especially for smaller companies. Taking on permanent staff could prove to be expensive if the expansion later fails; it might be wise to consider hiring agency workers or using short-term rolling contracts to fill any staffing gaps in the interim. Those staff can later be hired on a full-time basis if the growth appears sustainable.
It is also worth considering that some departments may find themselves under more pressure than others during a period of growth. Your IT service desk, for example, might be inundated with support tickets and network access requests. Consider outsourcing some of their tasks to a managed hosting service like ASL Group for a short period of time. We can support your own engineers and technicians, installing networks and troubleshooting network jams.
Maintain a process chain during growth periods
When two companies combine or when there is a large intake of new staff, the upheaval can cause confusion between workers and the normal process can be forgotten – leading to lost work and missed jobs. Ensure that a chain of accountability remains in place for every job in the system, and take special care to track orders or handle requests. Your internet based connectivity systems are a great way to transmit information between your old and new employees quickly, and to encourage active communication between individuals and departments.
Remember to remain accountable to your clients at all times, and don’t forget to check in with your target market to assess the impact of your period of sudden growth or change. During this time, the satisfaction of your client base is paramount to the company’s success. If you are putting off customers due to ongoing technical errors, slow deliveries, poor service and other issues relating to the expansion, the growth you have achieved will eventually become unsustainable.
Mismanaged growth can be expensive
It might seem like a growing company can only be a good thing. After all, more sales mean more staff, more staff means more work, and more work means more sales. However, you must factor in future costs when you consider embarking on a significant ramping up of your business. It might be wise to secure investment that can cover future costs, allowing you to fulfill future orders and meet raised demands.
Define your growth objectives and ensure your plans are in line with your company’s goals. If you are a small startup suddenly heading to the mass market, make sure you factor in cost control and try not to devalue your product by oversaturating your chosen market.