Local and global markets have become so competitive that businesses that want to survive must keep growing. Achieving sustainable and consistent growth is likely already among your business goals, but you should prepare for the challenges you might encounter that can be tricky to navigate. Here are the most common challenges growing startups encounter and how to overcome each one.
Handling the Demands of a Growing Workforce
Running a small business requires a small team of skilled people who manage daily operations. However, you or the business will place unfair demands on your employees as the amount of work and operations increase due to business growth.
Hiring new people is the best way to relieve pressure on current employees and get the skills, experience, and expertise you need to keep the business growing. Successful businesses can attract new talent by either finding the right people themselves or working with a recruitment agency that handles the hiring and onboarding process.
Business owners and leaders must also understand that a larger workforce comes with additional challenges. It is a good idea to hire a human resource manager to handle the complexities involved in managing a larger workforce or outsource these services to an experienced agency.
Ensuring Positive Cash Flow for Growing Startups
Every business owner understands they must spend money to ensure sales and revenue. Growth avails new opportunities that require additional cash inputs. A common challenge startups face when they reach this point in their trajectory is balancing leveraging these new opportunities with funding them without getting into trouble.
Because cash flow issues are one of the most common reasons for business failure, founders must have cash control programs and strategies to keep their spending in check. They must also be ready to cut spending and expenses and know when to source the funds they need when they need them.
They can hire accountants, consultants, and financial experts to advise them on their startups’ financial health, where they are losing money, and how to manage their expenses and spending better. By doing so, they will ensure they have enough cash on hand to fund current operations and leverage future opportunities.
Sustaining Their Online Visibility
As a business grows, some things that used to be deemed critical to its operations start falling by the wayside. One of these is maintaining online visibility that does not just keep them in the conversation but that also supports customer acquisition and conversion.
Some startups say they have a huge resource of articles and posts on their website but are not seeing any return on their investment. They will also say they are not ranking as highly as they should on search engine result pages despite having lots of content on different platforms.
The main challenge they must overcome is understanding that maintaining an online presence and visibility on search engines requires ongoing work. Search engine optimization might get you to the top of the search result pages, but the additional work you do afterward will keep you there.
This is the main reason startups need a good SEO agency. The agency will conduct an audit to find out where you are and why you are not doing as well as you should. They will then do the work and the required optimizations to improve your position and introduce strategies to ensure better online visibility.
In addition to boosting your overall online presence, good SEO will also help with customer acquisition, brand visibility, and brand awareness, all of which are crucial for the growth of a startup.
Attracting New Customers
New customers are crucial for business growth, and growing startups must continuously reach untapped audiences and new segments to ensure growth. Even though it helps, they must go beyond having substantial online visibility to reach and attract new customers.
Attracting and acquiring new customers starts with understanding who they are. Conducting market research using surveys, field tests, interviews, and focus groups will help you understand who your potential customers could be and their wants, needs, and pain points.
Feedback from existing customers can also help you understand what your customers need from you so you can better understand who your ideal customer is.
Even as you work on customer acquisition, you should never abandon your existing customers. These customers are the foundation on which you have built your business, and they will typically spend much more than new customers.
Find ways to make them happy by providing new products and services that provide them with additional value so that they stick with your business. Doing so will ensure steady revenue as you work on acquiring new customers.
Inventory Management for Growing Startups
As the number of customers increases, so does your inventory. If you have numerous orders coming in and do not have the inventory to support them, you could lose business or be forced to take measures that lead to losses. For example, you might have to ask a supplier for last-minute orders, and they might charge you extra for it.
The other end of the spectrum is having too much inventory because you overestimate demand and orders. Overstocking can reduce cash flow, reduce working capital, and lead to higher warehouse stocks that your business might not be able to afford or support.
The best solution to these challenges is using inventory management solutions. These help you track your inventory and forecast future demand so you can balance your inventory levels.
Like inventory, you might also run into asset management challenges as your business grows. For example, you might need more vehicles to deliver products or invest in new computers or cloud infrastructure to make your workers more efficient.
Solutions like GPS trackers can help you know where all the vehicles in your fleet are and how they are doing at any time. Asset management practices can ensure your in-office assets stay there and that any repairs or replacements are handled as soon as possible.
Every business experiences new challenges when it switches from survival to the growth phase. Business owners must understand the challenges they are likely to face and how to navigate them. With a solid strategy for doing both, a business can continue thriving long into the future where others fail.