Do you know the signs that your business is growing too fast?
Generally, business growth and expansion is a good thing, as long as it doesn’t happen too fast. The rapid expansion of a business, especially one that is a startup or a small business, can cause negative effects in the short term as well as in the long term.
The idea makes no sense and even seems counter-intuitive at first? A business exists to make money and to grow with time.
And while expansion is good for business, smart entrepreneurs should expand in a controlled manner.
These 13 signs might indicate that things are out of control in your company. Startups often face these issues, and knowing these signs is crucial since uncontrolled growth is one of the fastest ways to fail.
Sign 1: Your business expenses exceed your revenues
If your business is losing money than it is bringing in, you’re in big trouble (or on your way there)!
The result of rapid expansion is cash flow problems for a business, as expanding businesses incur growing costs.
As a business grows, so do its expenses, and if you’re spending more than you’re bringing in, you’ll most likely have to borrow, which is never a good decision.
It is ideal for a startup to be self-sustaining, which means that revenue should cover all business costs.
Sign 2: The number of customer complaints is increasing
One of the biggest signs you may need to reassess your business model is an increase in customer complaints and negative feedback.
With just a few customers, a small business can easily provide each with individual attention and tailor-made solutions.
Business growth often results in businesses cutting corners, resulting in an increase in complaints from customers. An organization like this fails to respond to these complaints above all else.
Sign 3: Overworked and unhappy employees
Do you overwork your employees? Have you seen a drop in productivity as a result of unhappy employees?
Your employees will have to bear a large portion of the burden, or the added burden if your business is growing uncontrollably.
Working late, for instance, is a way to stay on top of things. It usually causes productivity to decline, employee absenteeism to rise, and turnover to increase – all of which have negative effects on your business.
There may be several aspects of your business that need your attention, but you may find yourself occupied with the hiring and training of new employees.
Sign 4: You’re overworked and unsatisfied
You might also be overworked if you haven’t been able to keep up with your business’s demands and ever-increasing needs.
Neither you nor your employees can succeed if you are overworked and unhappy.
When you haven’t seen daylight for a while, and work 80 hours a week, you might burn out before you realize it.
Sign 5: Vendors and suppliers cannot keep up
In many cases, businesses that grow too quickly are unable to keep up with their increased demand for raw materials and other resources crucial for the functioning and running of your company.
You may want to consider adding to your list of suppliers or get in touch with suppliers who may be able to better suit your needs in such cases.
Sign 6: Your infrastructure, systems, and processes are redundant or unable to handle the workload
In our previous discussion, we saw how increased business demands can put a great deal of stress on your employees, you, as well as your vendors and suppliers. This can also disrupt your business processes and systems in a completely redundant way.
Your business may be doomed if you do not have the proper infrastructure (or invest in it). A new piece of hardware or software might be needed, for example.
Old hardware and over-the-counter software may not be adequate for the increase in demand, and old software may not be able to support it – hence the need to upgrade both.
Furthermore, it may be necessary to overhaul your business’s core processes, as well as its operation.
Sign 7: Your emphasis shifts from quality to quantity
So let’s face it, supply is falling behind demand, and so is the price of goods.
The biggest warning sign for expanding businesses is when they prioritize quantity over quality. You will lose customers as a result of this shift in priorities.
The key to any successful business is to focus on quality and value for money.
Sign 8: You start losing customers
The importance of customer retention is something we’ve discussed extensively. In order for a business to succeed (or fail) it must be able to keep existing customers while acquiring new, profitable ones.
When customers feel that they’re not being given the attention they need, that their complaints are not being handled properly, and that your products and services are dropping in quality, you might lose customers.
In this case, your business expansion will be negatively affected, and it might be best for you and your team to step back, take a deep breath, and figure out how you can win back customers.
Sign 9: Your processes aren’t scalable
When a company no longer has a process, it usually means it has outgrown its current cycle.
This is usually a good sign of the problem if the processes are the same as those for a small business rather than a scaling business.
Sign 10: Senior hires don’t know how to succeed
If your experienced hires are unclear about their decision rights and success metrics, then your company is growing too quickly. Are your employees wondering, “How do I succeed here?”?
When you hear “I’m not feeling successful,” then you’re moving too fast and not clearly defining roles and integrating new hires.
Sign 11: Innovations are declining
Innovation and creativity may decline as your staff tries to keep up with the frantic pace.
The brain’s task-positive network can only be stimulated when we allow it to breathe, so stress stifles creative thinking. In the event that your creative juices have dried up, it’s time to develop a better support system.
Sign 12: You Feel Complacent And Egoistic
Scale and skill are in danger as speed accelerates.
You should watch out for ego and complacency as potential “yellow lights” that signal that you should slow down your progress. Gaining feedback will help you identify the blind spots in your growth journey.
Sign 13: Missed deadlines and a high turnover rate
The deadlines are getting missed. The turnover rate is increasing. Proactivity is not as significant as putting out fires. Burnout is rampant among employees.
Several signs can indicate you’re moving too fast, being clumsy, not staying grounded, and losing focus with your team.
In the long run, you wouldn’t want to sacrifice your team’s performance to achieve growth, as this is a price you did not expect to pay that leads to low profits over time.
Watch the below YouTube videos to learn more about the danger of growing too fast.