Growing Pains in Business
Growing pains in small businesses can be a sign that the business needs better internal systems.
It’s been both my personal experience and my experience as a business advisor and coach, that some of these pains are more common than others.
Understanding what a few of these are will help businesses prepare for them before they are allowed to become a real problem.
It’s better to treat a cut before it becomes something bigger that’s potentially dangerous to our health.
Starting from the top of the list of growing pains, I often hear that my clients have too little time to do what needs to be done. This translates to the business owner feeling stressed and overwhelmed and the team feeling a loss of morale as they either watch it play out or jump on the hamster wheel.
The other big growing pain is cash, and there not being enough of it when it’s needed. That causes more stress and a lot of sleepless nights. It’s not unusual for businesses to experience the pain of time and cash at the same time.
Followed closely behind is “putting out fires”, where instead of focusing on the end goal, the owners and the team are repeatedly dealing with short term crises.
This leads into a lack of direction, which makes everyone feel like they are spinning their wheels and not actually achieving anything. This is one of the factors that will cause staff to look elsewhere.
Most small businesses are purchased or started by people that have worked in the industry or a related industry and have been really good at their job. However, their job generally didn’t include managing the business, which means a whole new set of skills needs to be developed in order for the business to survive and thrive.
Put all 5 symptoms together and its little wonder that from the outside in (and more importantly from the inside out) it looks like the business is operating in a bubble which can be very isolating, both internally and externally.
There are solutions out there.
“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” - James Cash Penney.
Written by Alison Lemon
PKF Poutsma Lemon Limited (Kerikeri Office)
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