Friday Five: The Five Most Common Growing Pains of Small Businesses
If your small business is growing, there’s obviously a lot that is going right. But that doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. Every business experiences some growing pains as you expand. Here are five common growing pains to look out for as your business moves to the next stage.
1) Controlling costs
For small businesses, controlling costs can make the difference between being in the black or in the red, especially when your business is growing rapidly. Staff costs, materials, and business infrastructure have to be carefully managed to make sure that you’re not spending more than you need to and cutting into profits. At the same time, under-spending in any of these areas can drag down productivity and negatively impact your customer experience, both of which can also drag down your bottom line.
Using a cloud-based small business phone system from RingCentral, your business benefits from state-of-the-art unified communications at an affordable price. The feature-rich phone system puts an entire suite of communication tools at your disposal. As your business grows, you can expand your system as needed, without the up-front costs of traditional business phone hardware. For growing small businesses concerned about costs, it’s a win-win.
2) Finding the right people
For small business owners, finding qualified applicants for jobs is a continuing challenge. To complicate matters even more, it’s harder for small businesses to stand out among larger companies on social media and online job boards. But there is some good news. According to recent research from LinkedIn, the overwhelming majority of respondents were interested in working for small companies, and 58% of them were looking to leave their current positions within the next two years. There is a lot that small businesses can do in order to attract these applicants, including getting creative with compensation and harnessing the power of your current employees for referrals.
In a small business, there are often people with multiple areas of expertise and lots of overlapping responsibilities. That can complicate team communication. With RingCentral Glip, your entire team has access to a unified workspace for communication and collaboration. Glip solves the problem of keeping everyone up to date and streamlines your business with a single centralized workspace for task management, file sharing, messaging, and more.
4) Overworking yourself
Work-life balance is difficult for most people, and that’s especially true of small business owners. When it’s your name on the proverbial door, it can feel like you’re never really “off the clock,” so balancing your work life and home life can seem particularly daunting. In order to be successful, it’s hard to completely unplug from your business. But with RingCentral, you don’t necessarily have to. Desktop and mobile apps ensure that your entire business phone system can travel with you on your laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. That way, you can take advantage of small windows of time to handle business matters, even if you’re out of the office.
5) Lack of planning
When your business is growing, it can be hard to find time to plan for the longer term. While you’re rapidly growing, businesses also need to be looking ahead past what’s on the horizon. Make sure you’re not just putting out fires as your business grows, keeping part of your focus on the bigger picture. After all, what’s the point of your current growth if you aren’t considering how it will help your business over the long term?
No matter what kind of business you’re in, growing pains are an inevitability. They can be challenging, but don’t forget the good news: Growing pains mean that your business is growing.
What other advice would you offer to small business owners experiencing growing pains with thier company?