Not ready for success: Problems with small-business rapid growth

Sometimes, success can catch small businesses by surprise. Time magazine recently featured the story of an entrepreneurial online company that offered to prank a customer’s contacts with envelopes full of glitter. The business was shocked by the overwhelming response and the owner decided to shut down the website because it couldn’t handle the demand.

Some organizations spend so much time safeguarding against setbacks they don’t know how to respond to more positive surprises. Small businesses need to utilize flexible solutions and responsive communication channels to avoid common obstacles generated by success.

Not having available stock and assets
Sometimes customer demand for a product or service can exceed initial projections. This means a small business may not have the merchandise or assets on hand to satisfy a growing audience. Entrepreneurs need to have strong communication procedures in place to keep suppliers in the loop and prepare speedy procurement channels.

If a company offers services, it must have the right people and equipment available. For example, a security provider needs alarm systems, vehicles, tools and trained field agents ready to provide optimal service to new audiences. This could be a matter of scheduling or it could mean a company needs to carefully audit its fixed assets. Having the correct business numbers visible prevents sales teams from taking on clients they can not handle.

“When small business begin, they need to prioritize hiring practices.”

Untrained employees
Security providers also need to have employees available to take the increased sales calls, prepare contracts and perform numerous customer services. Forbes said sudden increased demand for business often causes companies to hire unqualified workers to fill staffing gaps.

When small business begin, they need to prioritize hiring practices. Companies should create formalized interviewing processes. Organizations have to track which staffing routines led to success so they have best practices in place for emergencies.

Hard to visualize finances
Sudden demand may make it hard for managers to closely monitor cash flow. Sales teams could take in orders quickly, so companies have to purchase supplies and compensate employees for work before the organization receives payments. Businesses need solutions to ensure they don’t forget about financial data before it becomes actual transactions.

A financial software for security companies helps business managers maintain visibility. Working with a software partner, small businesses can create alerts or messages to ensure bills are paid on time and users don’t miss important data. Employees utilizing the right solution can see all the information they need while taking orders and report changes so all invested parties are aware.

Poor customer service
If a small business grows too fast, it could start losing customers just as quickly as it gains them. Not having the available staff, inventory, assets or infrastructure could mean a person’s first interaction with a service will be disappointing. The National Federation of Independent Business suggested this discourages repeat business and stretching an organization too thin could cause current clients to suffer.

Managers need to find ways for employees to focus their time on customers. Growing small businesses must have tools to eliminate office busy work. Software solutions like automated alarm billing allows employees to devote themselves to providing one-on-one support to new and existing consumers.

Is This You?

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