By Vaness Bennett
Scaling a business and managing evolutions in product and practice represent some of the largest challenges facing a company, but with a little foresight and the right philosophy, these testing times can prove the making of a dynamic and ambitious organisation.
Those Terrible Twos
The first two years of a new business venture can be exciting and demanding, a huge learning curve and, in general, a real adventure. Every team member will have to chip in, dealing with all kinds of tasks as and when they arise, as the leader or leaders supervise all the activity – occasionally frantically – while at the same time also making key decisions on how to keep pushing the organisation forward.
But, as important as it is to keep moving with the plan, to keep on top of the problems and unforeseen circumstances that inevitably occur during a business’s developmental phase, all that wrestling and stretching to establish oneself comes at a cost.
Certain cultures within practices and operations develop that cannot survive in the long-term. There may be skilled and practised people among the staff, but many of them will be over-burdened and handling issues that are outside of their expertise.
Meanwhile, leaders charged with overseeing all operations will have become oracles, with too much dependent on them. Those leaders should be focused, instead, on direction, not on day-to-day problems that skilled and experienced staff can manage themselves once empowered to do so.
Getting Out of the Rut
Aside from the first one or two years of starting up shop, the toughest challenges that an organisation experiences will occur during its transitional phases, and managing growth or a shift in product and/or operations requires all kinds of studies and planning. But there are some actions that will make a big and positive difference if executed with confidence and authority.
Chief among these is establishing units of team members, so that each one has balance in terms of skillset, experience and character. Once a strong team has been bedded in – a process that may take up to 6 months while they develop an understanding and trust between themselves, they will be able to take on great challenges. As leaders delegate to those units and believe in them, they will be giving themselves the opportunity to keep focused on the larger business landscape.
Solutions to Improve the Product, Streamline the Process
That larger view of the general business conditions, developing markets and innovations is crucial to an ambitious entrepreneur. One solution is a smart app and cloud-based software for online expense management. Super-quick to implement and adopt, it will reduce costs and save time, and is one part of a huge wave of cloud-based innovations that, over time, will prove the difference between the companies at the forefront of their industries and the also-rans.
Keep your Ear to the Ground
The extra breathing space that occurs across an organisation when it allows for better relationships and innovative solutions can have a huge impact – now more than ever – in a world where disruptive technologies and innovative solutions arise at rapid speed and in equal measure.
Meanwhile, groups that are able to observe and respond to these developments will be able to capitalise on them, and, rather than being sunk by those shifts in the business landscape, they will be able to use them as springboards for greater future success.