A lot of small business owners find themselves blindsided by growth and scaling issues once their business starts to really gather steam. Often, they are unprepared to make the right decisions that will keep their business afloat and continue its growth. Here are ten key management decisions you have to consider when your small business grows.
How can customer service be improved?
Providing great customer service is one of the keys to success, regardless of how big or small your business may be. Investing in a contact center solution, customer relations software, employee training and other tools that can improve the user experience can go a long way towards making sure customers keep coming back.
At this point, you may also want to consider hiring customer service representatives who can handle more technical inquiries or complaints that require more attention. You might also consider offering loyalty rewards or discounts to customers who frequently buy from your company.
How much money should be allocated for capital investments?
When your business is starting off, most of your budget likely goes towards day-to-day operations. Once it starts to grow, however, you'll need to think about whether new equipment or other large purchases could help boost productivity or reduce costs in the long run.
For instance, you might consider investing in new software, computers or machinery to streamline processes and increase output. Meanwhile, those in the manufacturing sector may want to consider purchasing hot runners. Hot runners are essential in plastic injection molding, allowing for precise melt flow control and faster cycle times, and reduced material waste. Allocating funds to invest in the proper hot runners can be a strategic decision for manufacturing companies as they can contribute to long-term growth and profitability. Additionally, if your business is growing quickly, you may need to think about purchasing more space or premises for expansion.
How much should be invested in marketing efforts?
Marketing is an essential part of any business, especially when it comes to increasing awareness of your company and boosting customer loyalty. For example, email campaigns and well-planned digital marketing strategies can help raise brand visibility and draw attention from potential customers.
You need to know when and how to allocate funds to marketing efforts. Research into customer needs and preferences should guide your decisions, so that you target the right audience with the most effective tactics.
What strategies can be used to find new talent?
As your small business grows, you will inevitably need more employees. To ensure you find the best people for each role, decide on a set of strategies that can help you locate qualified candidates efficiently.
For instance, crafting job postings on well-known websites such as Indeed or LinkedIn could allow you to reach out to a larger pool of prospective hires. You might also consider hosting career fairs or advertising through local newspapers or online news outlets.
When is it time to delegate tasks?
Small business owners are often tasked with multiple roles and must be competent in each one. However, as your business grows, you won't have the bandwidth to handle all tasks alone. At this point, it is important to recognize when it's time to delegate some of these responsibilities to others.
Think about what areas need more management or expertise and which ones can be handled by other employees. For example, if you're feeling overwhelmed with marketing duties, consider hiring a digital marketer who can take care of those tasks for you so that you can focus on growing the business.
Should the hiring process be changed?
When a business expands, the hiring process must change accordingly. You'll need to make sure your recruitment team is properly equipped with the right tools - such as applicant tracking systems and automated assessments - to ensure a smooth process for everyone involved.
You should also establish an onboarding policy that ensures new hires are welcomed and familiarized with the company in a timely manner. This will help them become productive members of the team from day one.
When is it time to outsource services?
Outsourcing services can be a great way to save time and money, especially when you don't have the resources or personnel for certain tasks. For instance, you may need professional help with legal matters, accounting, web design or IT-related issues. Hiring outside professionals - instead of investing in more staff - can help reduce costs and ensure quality results in these areas.
It's important to assess whether outsourcing could benefit your business before making any decisions. Evaluate the scope of work that needs to be done and determine if hiring an expert would make sense economically as well as strategically.
Should the existing team's roles change?
With growth comes added responsibility, so consider whether anyone on the existing team may need additional training or new roles as the company expands. This kind of reinvestment in employees is key to ensuring longevity and success over time.
You need to consider things such as who could benefit from extra training and who is already qualified to take on more challenging roles. As you reassign responsibilities, make sure everyone is aware of the changes and their new tasks clearly so that no one feels like they're being treated unfairly or overwhelmed.
How can the company be kept organized?
Ensuring that everyone is on the same page and productive is essential for any growing business. Consider investing in organizational tools or software such as project management platforms or cloud storage to help keep information accessible and organized over time.
This is especially important if you plan to expand your team, as it will make sure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. Automating some processes can also help save time and make sure tasks are completed efficiently.
What objectives should be set?
Setting measurable goals will help you keep track of progress and stay motivated during growth spurts. Think about what milestones your business should aim to meet over a certain period of time, from sales numbers to customer feedback ratings, and create objectives accordingly.
Often times, people tend to focus on the bigger picture without breaking it down into smaller, achievable goals. Writing down objectives will not only help you build a roadmap to success but also motivate your team and keep everyone in line with what needs to be done.
Making the right decisions during periods of growth can mean the difference between success and failure for any small business. By considering these ten key management decisions, you are well on your way to making sure your small business stays afloat and continues its upward trajectory.