When a business is growing it’s usually a great time for the CEO – figures point upwards and the future looks a little bit brighter.
But this is also a time when nasty organisational and infrastructure issues can rear their ugly head. Are we ready to grow? Is the way we are working optimised in such a way that new staff can easily come on board? Do we have the practical requirements such as a desk and a computer sorted?
The questions are many, and you will need an answer to them before it’s time to grow, or there is a possibility that any significant growth will soon be damaging.
Problem: When taking on new clients (and hiring new staff) the infrastructure needs to be upgraded: storage space, network, workstations and servers need to be looked over to handle the additional load.
Solution: Using cloud solutions (for example online collaboration tools) will largely eliminate this issue. With documents and software in the cloud, everything can be accessed from any device, and it’s as simple as setting up a new account. Some companies even employ a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy as the employees usually already have the hardware required to do the job.
If the growth of the company is very explosive, and more storage space is needed, simply contact your provider and they can increase it.
Problem: With more staff come more issues. Suddenly there is a need for processes, benefits and team collaboration.
Solution: Use software to bridge the gaps. Project Management software can help organise work and teams, and collaboration solutions will make sure that everyone involved has the means to communicate, even if not in the office.
Also, be sure to have someone dedicated to HR issues. Even if it’s not a full-time position, it helps for everyone to know who to talk to if the need arises.
Problem: Many growing companies (and to be fair, many non-growing companies) get stuck in a “Firefighting” mode, where problems have to be fixed all the time, but there is no time to investigate why they happen.
Solution: Planning and tracking. Plan for contingencies, and be sure to track as many metrics as possible if you notice that problems keep appearing. Without metrics there is no way of knowing where the problem lies: it could be personnel, linked to a process, or even client-related. Also, set aside time for problem-solving, plan it into the schedule, and this will make sure that time can be spent identifying the underlying issues causing these problems to arise.