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The Biggest Mistakes Growing Companies Make

Bill Wichert

The transition from a small company to a larger one can be a very difficult time. Business owners are unsure of the right strategy to grow the business and the demands can become overwhelming. During this time, many businesses can be side tracked by bad decisions or a lack of time to focus on problem areas.  To that end, here are some helpful tips for minimizing mistakes while making a strong transition to a larger company.

Failing to Build a Strong Team

Many startups can be so focused on developing new technologies that there's little time to focus on building a strong company. Without a strong team that can tackle the problems that are coming up, businesses can fail to meet the goals set forth by their leaders. Growing a business can be an extremely exciting time for entrepreneurs, but the lack of a solid team can cause huge problems within and outside the company. Many businesses never meet their true potential because of these distractions. If you're not careful, you can miss out on huge opportunities while focusing on fixing the issues that your team caused.

Failing to Build an Accountability Culture

The biggest mistake businesses make at this time is to not set specific goals and making everyone accountable. It’s important to define what’s most important for your business to become successful and define goals that align with those goals. Business owners tend to lose sight of their long-term goals when things get busy, so having clear and definable goals can keep all parties on the same track. They should also surround themselves with people that will help them achieve their goals.  This concept of “everyone rowing in the same direction” ensures that there is no ambiguity of direction and makes all the staff accountable for delivering results.

Failing to Build a Strategy

You can fail at growing your company if you do not have a plan in place. You can only succeed by using data, analytics, and internal expertise to determine the best strategy for your business. Unfortunately, there are a lot of mistakes that entrepreneurs make while growing the business. Many of these can be tracked back to tactical mistakes that did not align with any long term strategy.  These cause a number of issues that are even more difficult to fix since they have to be completely redone to get a process in alignment with the strategy.  Focus on a strategy and educate all parties involved about your growth path.

Failing to Build a Culture of Innovation

Many entrepreneurs understand that a company needs to grow in order to survive, but often the culture of a company can be the limiting factor in the growth strategy. It is important to take time to define your culture early on in your business’s life as mentioned in the last section. You can also build a culture where there is intentionally innovation policies and processes built into the core of the company to ensure the organization is thriving long into the future. It is important to have clear responsibilities and a culture that cultivates skills that will advance the business and ideas that may create long term value.  Different or strange ideas should not be seen as a problem.  You should cultivate different thinking.  If not, you may have a company where people feel it is not their place to speak and they will not contribute when they are most needed.

Failing to Build a Customer Experience

Growth can bring more work for growing companies, but it's often the customer experience that suffers during this time. Large companies can use its scale to launch great customer experiences to market. However, most small companies are not equipped to be customer centric and their systems are often geared toward the past. We can look back at great mistakes made in the past, but if we can't use them to make better decisions in the future, they will always be remembered for the wrong reasons. Mistakes are an opportunity to learn. A fast growing company might make a few mistakes on the road to success. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes and don't repeat them.  Let them inform better business practices and better customer support.  Ensure the learning from the mistake is shared so that the mistakes have value, but will not be repeated.

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