When your business grows too fast — and you can’t keep up
Entrepreneurs can’t help but feel giddy as they launch their businesses and watch with pride and excitement as their first clients or customers arrive and money exchanges hands.
Their dream is realized.
Then, with any luck, sales explode and growth starts happening fast – maybe too fast. Each day, in an effort to keep up, the frazzled entrepreneur puts in something new – a new employee, a new order, new equipment – but without any overall plan for handling the accelerated activity.
“If you are an entrepreneur who has reached that growth stage, you and the business will have to change,” said Rob Cordasco (cordasco.cpa), author of “A Framework for Growth: Smart Financial and Tax Planning Strategies Throughout the Entrepreneurial Life Cycle.”
“You’ll need to adjust how the business operates and shift how you’ve been running it up to this point,” he said. “What you do now organizationally will have a major impact on the business’s future development. This is the move toward a people-centric organization. In a nutshell, the solution here is to delegate and build a sustainable organization.”
Cordasco offers a few tips for handling the deluge of daily responsibilities:
- Implement an organizational system. Cordasco said he usually suggests to his clients that they look at the entrepreneurial operating system (EOS) developed by Gino Wickman, which identifies the six key components of an organization. “When you focus on only these six areas, all the symptomatic issues go away,” he said.
Those components are vision, people, traction, issues, data, and process. Some of the tools for implementing the EOS are online and free, Cordasco said.
- Create employee guidelines. If you haven’t already, it’s time to make up a set of employee guidelines that fit within your vision of the business and your culture, then review them with current staff, Cordasco said. “When you hire someone, you can share these right away with that person,” he said. “You need to create the business culture that will let your business grow.”
- Consider hiring a manager. When a business hits a major growth spurt, the founder can become overwhelmed with all the responsibility, and find themselves unable to focus on whatever task is at hand because their mind keeps wandering to other things that need to be accomplished.
“At that point, what you really need to do is think about hiring a manager or having someone on staff take over more responsibility,” Cordasco said. “If you have someone else focus on the day- to-day managing of workers, you can focus on leading the team and on the strategic direction of the business.”
A s they go through the business life span, entrepreneurs also need to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, Cordasco said.
“Building a company doesn’t involve following a step-by-step guide that works for everyone,” he said. “In fact, there is no playbook. The decisions a business owner makes and the exact approach they take will depend on the company’s needs and their personal preferences.”
About Rob Cordasco
Rob Cordasco (cordasco.cpa), author of “A Framework for Growth: Smart Financial and Tax Planning Strategies Throughout the Entrepreneurial Life Cycle,” is the founder of Cordasco & Company, P.C., a boutique Certified Public Accounting firm. Cordasco is a CPA with more than three decades of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Spring Hill College in Alabama.