When a company grows, things are bound to change. We’ve already talked about what business leaders and company founders need to pay attention to when scaling their business from five to 50. Once you’ve hit that 50-person milestone, now what? From 50 to 200, your business is likely in a time of high growth and scaling fast—and with that, come different challenges and opportunities from that initial stage of growth.
Day by day, your company is growing. While that’s phenomenal to witness, you’ll need to make sure maintaining collaboration is a priority. As you build your teams and leadership in different parts of the business, information is more susceptible to becoming siloed. Depending on the department leader, everyone has their own preferences for which tools and solutions to use; collaboration and access to information across teams becomes harder when teams and technology don’t talk to one another!
It’s important to remember that no matter who is in charge of marketing, finance, or sales, your business will need the ideas and feedback of multiple people to truly collaborate. Since collaboration is necessary for business growth, make sure to align the decision makers on the right technology that can scale with your growth and business down the line, and establish a culture and commitment to cross-team collaboration. You don’t want to build up organizational debt and have to untangle these issues down the road.
In a high-growth period, the pressure to scale and hire responsible, competent, and skilled employees increases. You’ll need to look to and invest in specialists and experts to support your rapid growth. In a 20-person company, your employees most likely wear multiple hats and execute on a variety of tasks. As your company expands beyond 50, you’ll find you need more specialists to get certain jobs done efficiently and effectively.
When it comes to recruiting the experts, you’ll have to understand how the process has changed with rapid growth. You and other leaders may not be able to interview each and every candidate that comes through the door. You’ll have to let go and start entrusting the team that you’ve built to identify gaps in the business and find talent with the skills to fill those gaps. Part of letting go requires trusting your team to continue building out your vision of growth with the right people.
To get employees on board your growth journey, you’ll need to remind them that as your company grows, their impact will also grow. Roles may transform, become more specialized, or grow into leadership opportunities. When junior members see those growth opportunities, they’re more motivated to come along the journey of growth. Tempting employees with perks isn’t the only way to win hearts; it’s all about challenging them and giving them the opportunity to grow.
When you were a 50-person company, transaction volume and general business processes might’ve been a little easier to deal with. But as a growing company, it’s harder to keep up with larger demand. Managing customer support from a shared inbox or following up on customers via sticky notes may have been manageable within a small team, but it’s not scaleable solution for a growing company. In order to free up time and focus on what’s important, automation becomes essential for continued business growth.
Automation means finding qualified leads faster, moving your deals through the pipeline faster and routing your support cases to the appropriate agents, based on territories, expertise, or what have you. Invest in automation tools to keep up with the rapid growth.
As a growing business, you may be over the initial startup hump, but you begin to have a lot of the same issues as larger companies, such as difficulty in managing business priorities, meeting compliance or regulatory requirements, establishing standardization or business processes and the like.
To get through these issues, you’ll need to prioritize when and where you need to invest in subject-matter experts, especially if you are budget-constrained. Technology can help speed up business processes, and partnering with the right growing business solution provider can help extend you and your teams’ subject-matter knowledge on issues that affect the line of business or industry. Whether you’re working on improving your sales, service, or marketing process, they’ll be able to set up your team with best practices and tools to help you fill gaps in your growing business. And since those solution partners have run scenarios with hundreds of other customers or different industries, their experience can help you scale your business more smoothly.
Salesforce can help you find customers, win their businesses, and keep them happy so you can grow your business faster than ever. Learn more about our small business CRM solutions or follow us on twitter @SalesforceSMB and join the conversation with #SalesforceGROW.