When it comes to the small business arena, business growth is high on the list of priorities. In Total Business Magazine’s recent publication, over 50 percent of small business retailers expected their business to experience growth in the next few months. However, with the task of growing a business comes its own set of challenges, which can not only impact a business’ growth plans but impede its productivity as well.
According to research by Barclaycard, six in 10 business leaders have encountered a moment of uncertainty or roadblock while scaling up their business. From balancing the increasing financial demands to keeping communication open with an expanded workforce, failing to prepare your business for growth, and the challenges that come with it may mean and put your business’ productivity and future at risk.
The Time Consumption Factor: Innovate And Automate The Repetitive Tasks
Time management is one of the most commonly cited struggles for small business owners. In the Wells Fargo/ Gallup Small Business Index, 57 percent of SME owners said they worked six days a week, while 20 percent of them worked seven days a week. In times of business growth, this issue is often compounded thanks to the long list of tasks to get done and possibly, more business functions to oversee.
However, mismanagement of time can lead to missed deadlines, overlooked tasks, and a rising level of inefficiency and productivity – for both employers and their workforce. Identifying and automating repetitive tasks leaves you and your employees free to attend to more labour-intensive tasks. Payroll and time tracking software can reduce the need to manually calculate your employee wages and time worked every month.
Journyx notes the value of a time management system that also comes equipped with smart time tracking features to provide time improvement suggestions based on upcoming events in your Outlook calendar. Meanwhile, customer relationship management software like Salesforce and Freshsales can help businesses provide excellent customer experience, even with an expanding customer base in times of growth.
The Employee Communication And Motivation Factor: Provide Clear Channels Of Internal Communication Using Internal Communication Platforms
When a business begins to expand, they risk losing touch with their customers and employees. In a small business (less than 10 employees), it is much easier to have face to face conversations, meetings, and a better flow of employee to employee communication. As the workforce expands, it becomes more difficult to maintain that personal touch or check that employees are motivated, satisfied and happy. But that is exactly what a business should do if it wants to thrive.
In times of expansion, the uncertainty and change can make existing employees uneasy and even unproductive. However, ensuring the lines of communication are clear and open, particularly during times of growth, helps employees feel confident that they are being heard and gives you the chance to address any problems that may be hindering their productivity.
This is where internal communication tools like collaboration software, video and conferencing apps come in handy. Flowdock offers both public and private chat feature, giving employees the privacy needed for sensitive conversations. Other tools like GotoMeeting and Slack allow for instant team communication on the go and scheduled video conferences.
The Time Tracking And Lost Of Direction Factor: Invest In Team And Task Management Software
Expanding a business is a full-time job on its own. There is the drafting and execution of new marketing strategies to drive sales and interest, expansion of the supply chain, and in some cases, recruitment of workers for your growing business. For many small business owners and even their employees, it is easy to feel overwhelmed or lose focus along the way.
Task management apps and software like Asana, Monday and Click Up can help small business owners prioritize and keep track of their normal business operations and growth plans simultaneously. Click Up also includes a team communication feature, making it easier to have team meetings and keep assigned teams informed about a project’s progress and next steps.
Expanding your business can be an exciting but strenuous time for any business owner. Making use of tools like time tracking and efficiency apps can help you navigate the growth process with the least amount of roadblocks and a better chance of optimal productivity throughout.