Your business is flourishing and you know that it is time to scale. But you’ve heard the statistics that about half of businesses fail by year five. Regardless of the reason, nearly all failures occur because of mistakes the entrepreneur made.
Holding back due to fear of failure is one of those reasons. So check out these tips on how to go boldly forward and grow your company from 10 employees to 50 and stay strong in the meantime.
Let’s dive in!
Managing thirty employees is a whole different ball game than handling three. To effectively grow, your management style may have to change.
If you micromanaged before, it may have worked because there were only three people to manage. Once you’ve got 15, 30, 45 people working for you, micromanaging gets tough.
You need to set up rules and guidelines because without some structure things will fall apart. However, if you nitpick every little thing your employees will feel suffocated and your business won’t have the nimbleness it needs to survive.
Hire Right and Trust Your Employees
If you hire the right people, you won’t feel like you have to micromanage (unless you’re a control freak by nature). Look for people with the talent and vision that you need. Check out this example of how a pair of 23-year-olds were able to grow a business and their real estate investments at the same time by trusting the right people.
The right team is critical to your success as a business. If you do make a bad hire, don’t drag it out. Cut your losses and move on to someone else quickly before that bad hire kills your momentum.
Communication is key to a business’ survival. As a business grows, communication naturally breaks down. Not everyone fits around the same meeting table anymore.
Of course, department heads need to be talking to one another so that each division knows what’s happening, but how can you facilitate communication in general?
Find a Good Platform
The digital age has brought tons of ways to communicate to the table. Apps like Slack and Google Hangouts provide ways for employees to easily stay in the loop. If you work in an office together, even old-fashioned water cooler talk is a great way to facilitate communication.
Prioritize and Reward Communication
Check in with your employees from time to time by sitting down for a one-on-one. As your business grows and that isn’t feasible, continue the tradition by asking your managers to do the same with their teams.
Be approachable and reward team members that come to you with problems before they become too big and messy to handle well.
As your business moves out of the startup phase, employees will start thinking about their future. You need to start thinking about it with them, or they will move on to a company where they feel that management cares about them.
There are a few ways to do this.
Talk Long Term
For employees to really make a positive impact on your business, they need to stay for longer than a few months. So talk to them like you plan on them staying for years. Ask them about their aspirations, where do they see themselves in five years? What do they want to learn?
However, don’t just talk the talk. Once you know where your employees want to go, set them up for success in your company.
As it is feasible, offer professional development opportunities. These could be classes or additional training that will help them grow in their role or prepare them to step into a new one.
Go to networking events and offer opportunities to your employees to attend as well. Building relationships with other entrepreneurs will open up new opportunities to grow.
These events are also a great way to find new talent. After all, to grow from 10 to 50 employees, you need to fill 40 job openings.
Keep Calm and Grow On
Growing your company is both exciting and intimidating. Too many wrong moves can bring things tumbling down just when you thought they were picking up.
Don’t let fear stagnate your company, but also don’t get so carried away that everything crumbles. Follow these tips to move your business steadily in the direction that you want it to go.
Good luck and don’t hesitate to check out other articles on this site for more tips and tricks to help you meet your business goals.
Ben Mizes is the co-founder and CEO at Clever Real Estate, a real estate marketing firm that connects home buyers and sellers with top-rated agents at a discounted rate.
Business stock photo by Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock