The next goal after your business becomes profitable is to see it grow. It’s an entrepreneur’s fervent dream to reach the break-even point as soon as possible, and once the business becomes profitable, you want to grow it to the next level. But you may run into unprecedented IT challenges if the growth comes too fast. Most small businesses often underestimate the intense pressure that comes with rapid growth, and may easily get overwhelmed.
Here are some challenges to look out for, and fix, if your business is growing fast:
1. The Unprecedented Costs of Scaling Up
Problem: Rapid growth means you will be outgrowing your existing IT and business infrastructure sooner than you realize. In fact, doubling your profits could equal tripling or even quadrupling your IT costs – it’ll require you to expand your network setup, get more software licenses, require more cloud storage, and possibly hire more IT personnel.
Solution: Have a strategic IT, plan in place in anticipation of rapid growth. You can also outsource most of the IT services to cut costs, and for a seamless transition from a small to a large business. Get a reliable and professional IT service provider to partner with you.
2. Onboarding New Members
Problem: Your fast-growing business requires a larger workforce than before. No problem hiring additional staff – until you realize some don’t come with some basic knowledge of computers and related devices. Your expansion could grind to a halt if you don’t onboard new employees to adapt to the growing IT needs of your business.
Solution: Make the onboarding process easier through in-person training, the use of videos, and possibly a series of knowledge tests. These processes ensure your new staff gets into a position to help your company to grow even faster.
3. Finding Affordable IT Expertise
Problem: As your business grows bigger, the need for people with knowledge of specific industry software, enterprise-level device configurations, contact management tools, software, security applications, and others, also grows. You’ll need an advanced IT workforce, which may be quite expensive to hire and maintain.
Solution: You could hire people in-house for these specialized tasks, or better still, you could outsource them to an IT firm that meets your growing IT needs and can grow with you. Hiring in-house can get costly as your business continues to grow, so outsourcing could be your most viable option.
4. Managing the Logistics of a New Location
Problem: If your business is growing rapidly, you certainly need to open one or more branches in a new location. The branch will require a new set of IT infrastructure. If you get it wrong, the new branch may collapse altogether. The new office also needs a complete set of professionals to man it, and ensure it aligns with the objectives of your business.
Solution: Work with an IT team that can scale with you. If you need to hire additional staff, the existing personnel can help you hit the ground running by inducting the new employees into the office. Alternatively, you can outsource most of your IT services so you can scale up whenever the need arises.
5. Balancing Opportunities and Risks
Problem: Balancing between opportunities and risks can be more challenging than anything else because it’s more strategic than tactical. With great growth comes great opportunities, but so are risks. The more opportunities for more growth, the more the business gets exposed to risks. For instance, investing heavily may attract potentially heavy losses if things don’t work out as expected.
Solution: Find a good IT partner who can double as a virtual CIO when you need one. The virtual CIO can help you with strategic planning, and budgeting, and assist you to leverage your opportunities while minimizing risks.
6. Employee Burnout
Problem: Away from the excitement that comes with the rapid growth of your business, your staff may quickly run into headwinds. They can no longer keep up with the pressures of increased workload, long working hours to meet customer requirements, and increased productivity. It leads to employee burnout, and their productivity may decline while some may want to leave.
Solution: Several options are available for you, such as hiring more staff, re-equipping your workforce for new roles, or outsourcing your IT department. But hiring more staff can be expensive and time-consuming. You could consider outsourcing most of your IT department to cut down on costs and still increase productivity.
7. Inventory Management
Problem: A fast-growing business means more customers – which also translates to more stock. With orders flying in but you have no sufficient inventory, you could be forced into costly last-minute decisions, such as cancelling some orders. Customers could lose trust in you and go off in search of other suppliers.
Solution: Adopt the just-in-time inventory management solution to help you stock products when they are needed. If you overstock in anticipation of more orders, you could suffer financial setbacks since t ties up valuable working capital.
8. Keeping the Supply Chain Running
Problem: Increased inventory may exert pressure on the supply chain, and may even drive it into the ground. It will then become difficult to meet the demands of the increased customer base since a functioning supply chain is the lifeblood of day-to-day business activities. Your existing supply chain would need to expand to accommodate the increasing needs of your business, and help you fulfill orders on time.
Solution: You need to look ahead with medium and long-term sales forecasts, so you can prepare for such projections in advance. It’s also important to keep in touch with a diverse network of suppliers to ensure you always have alternatives whenever there’s a hiccup with one of them.
Face More IT Challenges With Reliable IT Services
It’s every entrepreneur’s dream to see their business grow, even exponentially. But you need to be ready for the challenges that come with rapid growth so you don’t get overwhelmed. A reliable IT services partner can help you focus on your business while they take care of all your IT needs, including system maintenance, advanced cyber security and on-demand support. If you need more information, please contact us today.