Over the course of the last year or so I have worked with several clients whose business is growing! Both in the for profit and nonprofit sector, these organizations have either been a part of a merger with others, or have expanded their sales and programs to reach more clients. To be sure, this is a pretty exciting trend, considering that almost all organizations have been in a state of either downsizing or just maintaining for many years now. I am also happy to say that our client’s growth has spurred some new business for us as well, which is really how a growing economy works – everyone benefitting from the increased demand of others.
With this shift though, comes new challenges. You need to find ways to streamline workflow to be able to manage the increased output, ideally without having to add new personnel. In order to make this happen, a definite mindset change must take place. It becomes critical to have everyone on the same page and recognizing the opportunity that the increased business could have. Yes it might be an overload for a while – overtime, added responsibilities, etc., but this can also be an invigorating change – a motivation to show your capabilities and commitment.
Or, when the time comes to add to the staffing, what will the role of the new individuals be? We might find that in reality we will need to alter some of the existing roles in order to accommodate the right individual. In addition, if you have had the need to hire new individuals as of late, you know that it is not necessarily easy to find the right person – and it will only get tougher in the near future! At some point wages will start edging higher, which is a trend that has not happened in a while (but many might argue is what is holding our economy back right now too).
Another area that will demand attention is that of updating equipment and facilities. During the recession it was not uncommon for most organizations to put a hold on investing in new equipment – but now, we may find ourselves struggling to keep up with cost of getting back to where we need to be! You certainly cannot upgrade everything all at once, so keying in on the priorities is critical. It also serves to show your staff and clients both that you are intent on maintaining the growth curve.
For many of us in business, the next several years will be much different. Shifting gears from just “hanging on,” to that of expansion. What we will find is that growth actually brings with it the same obstacles that reduction did – they just look different!
What challenges are you facing?