Growth isn’t always a good thing in business. Growing too quickly is unsustainable and will only weaken your business by putting strain on the number of ways you were unprepared to grow – financially, location-wise, supply and manufacturing, staff turnover, etc.
It’s essential to know the signs your business is growing too fast so you can recognize them and take action if necessary.
There are 7 signs that you’re attaining unsustainable growth. Read about them below – do any sound familiar?
7 Signs Your Business is Growing Too Fast
Sudden increase in staff turnover
If your business is growing too fast, you’re sure to see a sudden increase in staff turnover. It can be because you’re not relating with employees one-on-one as much with the new growth, because the pressures and duties of the employees’ roles have increased due to the growth, or because the vibe at the office has changed as activity has increased. If more employees than ever before are leaving, it’s a sign your business is growing too fast.
Significant decrease in customer satisfaction
Your customers are the ultimate barometer for your business. If they’re happy, you’re doing something right, and if they’re dissatisfied, you’re doing something wrong. Both types of feedback are valuable to your business because if you’re doing something wrong, it pays to realize the mistake and get back on track as soon as possible. If reviews, comments, and general customer satisfaction have taken a nosedive, it’s a sign you may be growing too fast.
Serious issues with supply and/or manufacturing
Being able to supply the product you sell to your customers is an integral part of doing business. If you can’t supply it, customers won’t buy it from you. If you’re having issues with back-orders, unreliable manufacturing, damaged or variant-quality supply, it’s a sign that there are some kinks you need to work out before aiming for significant growth.
You feel you’re always in crisis mode
If it feels like your office could be the focus of a reality show, you’re probably growing too fast. Being busy is a great thing and many people enjoy a challenge, but if your office is constantly in crisis mode, you’re not doing anyone any favors. It’s a high-stress, productivity-lowering environment that can contribute to high employee turnover. It’s also a sign that you’re growing too fast and may need to hire more staff or re-strategize.
A large proportion of your staff are contractors
Contractors are a wonderful tool for your business as long as they are used properly. A staff made up mostly of contractors is a sign that your business is growing too quickly. Contractors can provide excellent pricing, a careers’ worth of industry-specific knowledge, and the benefit of not paying salary or benefits, but they’re also impermanent. They don’t often stick around for more than a couple years, and when they leave, they take their expertise and the information you’ve shared about your business with them.
They don’t stay to help train the next person like an employee would. They don’t have strong reasons to stay with the company because they’re being paid an hourly or project rate without receiving benefits or job security. A staff of mostly contractors means you’re growing too fast – slow down, re-evaluate your employee needs, and find a few full-timers to handle your needs rather than a handful of contractors.
You’re running out of resources
Petty cash, desks and furniture, coffee in the break room, office supplies – if you’re running out of resources you need to keep running, you’re probably growing too fast. Running out of resources can signal that you’ve hired too many employees or have taken on too many new clients to keep with the budget you had been using.
Where you might have allotted $200/month for office supplies when you served 50 clients, that same amount won’t work when you have 100 clients.
Receiving an order significantly larger than your average order
If you’ve gotten a very large order that far outweighs your average orders, it’s an early sign that you may be experiencing unsustainable, fast growth. Have you thought ahead as to how you’ll handle such a large order? Will your manufacturer be able to accommodate the order, or have you figured out how to properly scale your service? What parts of the process will have to change for this size and type of order?
Receiving a large order can be the first step in the right direction growth-wise for your business, but only if you prepare and ask yourself these questions ahead of time.