Huge growth in a short amount of time is exciting and invigorating for a small company, but it can be stressful as well. With all the change required to move from startup to large, well-known company, it's easy to lose your footing. Certain slipups could be devastating in your hopes to achieve extreme growth. In order to successfully manage your own company's growth, consider the following four keys for managing hyper growth. These are the keys that helped me navigate the treacherous waves of hyper growth in my own company.
Maintain a Culture of Growth
A startup or small business's culture is naturally very exciting and dynamic. Maintaining this enthusiasm is imperative in a fast-growing work environment. It might be a challenge, especially as you add large numbers of employees, but do all that you can to keep a culture of positivity, growth, and fun. Get your employees together regularly for town hall meetings and company lunches, parties, and tournaments. When employees feel they are part of something big and something that is growing, the excitement and camaraderie is contagious. Strive for this culture and you'll have employees who will work hard to keep the hyper growth going for a long time to come.
Hire the Right People
In order to maintain your company culture, look for people who are qualified and excited about your vision. Don't hire the first people you can to simply fill the needed positions. You need to hire the people who fit your culture and who will maintain a level of excellence in all that they do. You need to hire "A players."
In hiring the right people, you'll naturally develop a tier of middle management. This is a tricky transition to make, simply because a very small business typically doesn't have enough employees to merit this sort of separation between the executive level and the rest of the employees. You may feel a strange sense of isolation and even an incongruity from not personally interacting with each employee every day. This is another reason to hire people whom you trust and like. You also need managers who have great communication skills, as they become your liaison between the executives and the rest of the employees.
Get Involved in Your Community
Want to feel attached to a local market and to gain a following and trust? Get involved! Involvement helps employees feel the excitement of working for a great company. Give back by sponsoring a highway, sponsoring local schools or events, Put your name out there to let people know you're growing fast. Register for local awards that recognize strong growth companies, advertise on billboards and show presence at job fairs in the city and local universities. Give them a chance to learn about your products and services and also take the chances to recruit them into your great work environment.
Expand and Conquer
The practical and logistical challenges of your company's hyper growth are just as tricky to navigate as the product and personnel adjustments you're making. There is no need to uproot your office every time you need additional space. Instead, consider expanding to strategic locations. Boostability has had great success with this concept as we have opened an additional office next to a local university, which is convenient for the 100+ students who work at that office. Two of our offices are located next to a mass transit station. This allows our employees to be more environmentally friendly, as well as attract more talent farther away from our offices.
In changing or adding space to accommodate your growth, remember that it's crucial to maintain good levels of communication between all locations so that no one is out of loop. Once again, your middle management will be invaluable in this instance. When your company is no longer in one location, you must work even harder to keep a strong and consistent culture in place.
What are your own best tips for managing hyper growth? I welcome your thoughts in the comment section below.