Every successful or growing business faces and experiences growth pains in one way or another, at some point in their venture. This problem is especially faced by solopreneurs, or relatively small businesses, because the goals and focus often change in such businesses. This is why it gets difficult for these entrepreneurs to grow efficiently and steadily, growth pains can seriously hinder the potential growth of the company.
Before we get into the ways in which you can overcome these growth pains, it is also important to understand exactly what they are. Being able to identify and asses growthh pains is the first step to tackle the problem itself. So, what is growth pain? Look at the concept of growth, and how it is defined as a kind of linear curve that goes upwards, however, growth is more like a staircase than a linear curve upward. At the end of each step, there is potentially a growth pain that needs to be identified and tackled so that you can move forward in terms of success.
Early signs that indicate the development of growth pains usually include things like coworkers feeling overwhelmed with their work, or when the long-term goals of the company are neglected, and short-term priorities are focused on more, which leads to the core of the business being lost. It can also be a sign if plans are made but the execution of decisions doesn’t take place, which leads to the questioning of decision-making skills and often equates to the productivity levels going down. It is also possible that the people at higher positions start to feel like ‘survivors’ instead of ‘innovators’, and core concepts of creativity and innovation are put on the back-burner. In the end you may realize that the company has continued to grow in sales, but not in profits. Not only are these early indications of growth pains, they also show that perhaps there is a need for improvement in terms of strategic and operation management.
So, what can you do? Start with hiring the right people, and make sure you do this at the right time. As we’ve already understood, growth isn’t a linear curve, so this is essentially the first step in the process of avoiding growth pains. Once you do this, the next step is to learn how to delegate the right work to the right people. Delegation is a skill, and as a leader, it is imperative that you ace that skill. The intention is to not burn yourself out, because your energy is required to grow the business at a steady pace. Incorporate management systems and performance measurements so that you can grow your business with cross-functional teams. This way, you can focus on design your company for scalability. In the end, strategic development is what matters most. It is also important to remember that this has to be done at the right time, and if done too late, could end up in severe growth pain.
The end result of all these steps includes faster developments in the business, rapid implementations of solutions, improved working conditions for all employees and co-workers, which leads to improved shareholder and employee value, and it also helps in improving leadership skills.