5 Ways to Ease Company Growing Pains

Growing a company can be a tough and demanding process, but there are various strategies that can help alleviate the difficulties associated with growth. These five approaches aim to tackle the common company growing pains that arise as a business expands and can promote stability, enhance communication and support a healthy growth rate.

Here are 5 ways to ease company growing pains:

1. Recognize that management is a skill

Evernote’s Phil Libin observes that, in startups, managing is viewed as a less important activity when people with real skills are working. As Libin has relied on professional manĀ­agers to scale his company, he says: “I’ve realized there is a lot of wisdom in things I used to roll my eyes at.”

2. Hire a rock star COO

It makes sense for young companies to emphasise product development and sales over operations, says author Robert Sher. But in adolescence, it’s important to hire early–and support loudly – a COO who loves operations and loathes sloppiness. Sher says: “Customers have to be sure you can deliver.”

3. Get comfortable saying no

“It’s tempting during adolescence to keep taking any job that comes your way,” says Highpoint Global founder Ben Lanius. However, when you draw firm limits, he adds, “you are respected more by your customers – and it gives employees a really good sense of who you are.”

4. Be ruthlessly focused on repeating yourself

Start-ups are project-based, explains Princeton professor Derek Lidow. But new projects can be an unreliable route to real growth. He says: “you have got to get out of that mode of doing everything differently, and turn to repetitive sets of tasks performed by people that become more and more expert in them.”

5. Understand that it’s not do or die

If you lack a clear strategy for traversing “no man’s land,” there’s nothing wrong with staying put. Author Doug Tatum states: “It is perfectly legal, ethical, and common sense for you to stay small – and make money.”

Written by Bob Bradley, founder of MD2MD.