Anytime a business grows, the results can be bittersweet. Along with the joys you experience and new opportunities made possible by the expansion, you also get to experience the other side of the coin: management headaches and other problems you didn’t anticipate. Business expansion isn’t all fun and games.
Right now, I’m in the middle of overseeing the construction of a new office/warehouse that will triple the size of our operation. I’m elated to see my business expand, but at the same time I’m having to learn — sometimes the hard way — to deal with the day-to-day issues that arise anytime you undertake something of this magnitude. Thankfully, I’ve learned some important lessons along the way that have helped me to stay sane.
- Be comfortable with making executive decisions. It was time to expand. We’ve reached the point where we just needed to take the next step and grow. Despite knowing we needed a new building, I admit I was hesitant at first. It’s a big project. Big projects are a lot of work and they’re a big commitment. Finally, I had to take a leap and commit to it, knowing it was the only way for us to thrive long-term. The obvious decision isn’t always the easiest one to make — but learning to bite the bullet and commit is the first step to success.
- Expand your awareness. Anytime your business expands, you have to also expand what you think is possible as a business owner. The building is the face you’re showing to the world. Once the world sees that, it’s going to expect something from you, and you have to be ready to deliver on those expectations. It’s easy to get comfortable with your current level of success or achievement. Once you move beyond that, you need to make a mental shift and view your operation for what it is — a growing entity that needs you to step up your game if you want long-term results.
- Learn to ask for help. If you’re like me, you might often take pride in doing things all by yourself. In the initial stages of taking over a business, you may need to involve yourself in many aspects of the business to ensure things run smoothly. At the very beginning, micromanaging things can sometimes be necessary. But as a business grows, you can’t keep going down that road. This is when micromanagement becomes destructive. You have to rely on others, and once you hit a certain growth level, you have to ask for help. Often, this means you need to hire more staff. Learning to rely on others can be difficult, but once you’re comfortable with it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed your business any other way.
Growing pains can be difficult, but if you take these three tips to heart, I promise you’ll reap the benefits — less stress, more happiness and a more successful business. You simply can’t lose with a winning combination like that.