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Managing Business Growth

Business Growth, Growing Business, managing business growth

Every single thing that has need of effort should aim for growth; be it as obvious as a tree that requires watering or weeding, or as complex as an abstract economic hypothesis that demands hours of studying and research. A business entity is therefore not an exception.

Many parents have at one time or another wished that their children would remain babies forever. As children pass through the different stages of growth, they will experience some changes in behavior which may not be so desirable to their parents. However, few if any of these parents would make their children so even if they had the power to.

As time goes by, a business entity that feeds on the efforts of its owners and employees ought to record growth in one area or another, depending on the principle objective of such a firm. Such growth may be related to profit size, sales volume, capacity of staff and brand loyalty among consumers. It is therefore the effects of such growth that may be unpleasant or worse still, invisible to an entrepreneur who is ill-prepared for it. It is the ability of an entrepreneur to manage growth that creates the difference between a vibrant firm and a retarded one.

There are some common effects of growth that need to be understood if growth is to help achieve the principle objective of an organization, even though every organization is different.

Establishment of Long Term Goals and Objectives.

A good number of small start-ups thrive on “deals” and windfall opportunities. The entities learn to get by without having to focus on issues such as the clientele needs, employees’ opinions and the most rewarding market segment. However as the business grows, the entity might find it extremely difficult to serve its purpose if it lacks focus. Common business tasks will be handled as emergencies; more than half of the time will be spent on repairing damage or preventing a looming one. Value addition, customer satisfaction and such like terms may be buzzed around but rarely pursued.

A good place to start with is to prepare a business plan. The organization may need to consult a business expert or the employees may prepare one if they are well-suited for the task.

Establishment of and Respect for Organizational Structures.
A growing business needs to be controlled as much as a start-up or a mature one. As an entity moves from a situation whereby decisions are made by two or three people, it is important that a clear organization structure is established and respected.

A common tendency among small enterprises is that certain people within the organization exercise power when and where they are not authorized to. Due to the closeness of the relationships within the organization, unwritten rules tend to prevail even when they contradict written ones and hence breed resentment and dissatisfaction among those who are motivated by fairness and consistency.

The management of a small enterprise needs to go through the tasks that are to be performed within the organization and consolidate these to form departments. After departments have been formed, job titles can then be created within the departments, which will then be allocated their job descriptions. It is important that job descriptions be allocated to job titles rather than to individuals, so that as the entity grows, staff recruitment shall focus on the ability of the recruit to fulfill a given task rather than filling someone else’s shoes.

Regular Short Term Reviews of Achievements.

In order for an entrepreneur to effectively deal with the challenges of growth, one needs to establish a well designed mechanism of reviewing the achievements of the organization. The reason for this is to make sure that the entity is pursuing its goals to the best of its ability through greater efficiency and effectiveness. An organization that does not conduct regular reviews may realize the folly of its ways too late.

It is important to use as little resources as possible so that the benefits of lower costs can be passed over to the consumer whenever the market demands it.

Effectiveness on the other hand, will help the organization provide the best product possible for its customers. If this is not done, the entrepreneur may wake up from his slumber only to realize that all his customers have moved to the competitor as a result of a minor dissatisfaction that would have been cleared if only the entrepreneur was keener.

These arguments by no means exhaustive. However, they serve to remind us that organizations rarely grow by default. Those that do, usually end up eating themselves.

For a start-up to grow in a healthy manner, a deliberate effort must be made to ensure that the foundation is not of sand, lest when the storm comes, the house is left standing.
Published: 2008-02-09
Author: Ernest Achesa

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