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When is it Time for SMBs to Expand Their C-Suite?

Growing small businesses face no shortage of hurdles as they seek to expand their footprint and capture market share. The bigger they become, the more challenges they face. Eventually, there comes a time when entrepreneurs and small teams need to look outside for help and consider bringing on executive leadership capable of putting them back on the path to prosperity. But how do you know when that time arrives? How can SMBs truly be certain that expanding their C-suite is the right move? Here’s a look at some of the clear-cut situations where hiring executive leadership will pay dividends for a growing business. 

1. When growth demands informed stewardship 

Companies operate within the world around them. Changes in the world often necessitate changes in a company’s C-suite, especially if it wants to remain competitive in the market. For instance, technological advances continue to revolutionize how businesses operate and interact with their customers. Growing businesses must stay at the forefront of digital technology, increasing the need for C-suite executives who specialize in data analysis and IT support. 

Unforeseen circumstances make it necessary to create new roles in a company’s C-suite. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, executive leaders are prioritizing public health and safety now more than ever before. Keeping employees and customers safe requires specialized knowledge that lies beyond the skill sets of traditional C-suite roles. Since the pandemic began, companies have started recruiting Risk Management Officers and Chief Health, Wellness and Safety Officers. Expanding their C-suites helps SMBs respond appropriately to what’s happening in the world. 

2. When challenges prevent you from growing 

Your team might have decided it’s time to grow, but expanding a small business is easier said than done. Taking your business to the next level often comes with challenges you’ve never encountered before. You and the team probably won’t know how to tackle them, especially if you’re new to business ownership or are trying to expand into an unfamiliar market. Addressing obstacles on your own uses up time and energy that’s better suited elsewhere, and you’ll end up focusing on problems rather than the company’s growth. 

When you’re ready to expand, consider adding a business expert to your C-suite. These long-tenured executives bring many years of experience to the table. No matter which obstacle you face, a business expert has most likely encountered and overcome that obstacle in the past. They draw upon previous experiences to help you plow through common SMB challenges and make your vision for the business a reality. 

3. When you need to refocus company culture 

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Growth brings new opportunities for your business, but it can also bring an unexpected shift in company culture. As your business gets bigger, it becomes harder to keep the culture consistent among employees, managers and team leaders. This is especially true if company growth involves hiring new personnel to run separate locations. There has to be someone at the top regulating behavior, expectations and core values up and down the hierarchy. 

Replicate company culture on a larger scale by adding leadership to your executive team. The people in charge define how others should act, from fellow executives all the way down to workers in manufacturing facilities. Company culture will change with growth, and it’s up to executive leaders to decide what the new culture will look like. When company culture takes on a life of its own, strong leadership can bring it back into focus. 

4. When the company expands its breadth 

A small business owner can’t be everywhere at once. The more offices you open and more business lines you prop up, the more difficult it gets to oversee the company’s entire operations. Owners who try to run everything themselves are spread too thin, and each branch can’t get the adequate leadership they need to run smoothly. Upon expanding your business, you’ll quickly realize operating multiple locations is a job for more than one person. 

Expand into new markets with confidence by hiring additional members for your executive team. These team members serve as an extension of the core C-suite by overseeing offices and business units across your various areas of exposure. Adding executives to the C-suite allows you to scale your business indefinitely. It can be hard to relinquish control over part of your business, but expanding the team is crucial for supporting company growth. 

5. When workforce growth demands leadership 

Business owners have to balance the worker-to-leader ratio. As your company gets bigger, you’ll need to hire more employees to meet growing demand for your products or services. Leaders can only manage a certain number of people, which means if you’re hiring more employees, you need to hire more leaders. Workers rely on their superiors for guidance, and managers can’t provide that support when they’re pulled in every direction. 

Expanding your C-suite makes it possible to manage a growing number of employees. By adding more executives to the team, each leader can better manage their respective sectors of the workforce, delegating to mid-level management and core business unit leaders. Bringing in more leaders will also reinforce the hierarchy of your business, which becomes even more important as you expand your operations. 

6. When new talent will help unlock opportunities 

Adding executives to your C-suite can only spell good news for your growing business. You need more people to operate more locations, but executives provide more than just extra manpower. High-level executives bring decades’ worth of experience to a small business owner who’s looking to play with the big competitors in their industry. They offer a range of expertise that will set you apart from other startups and spur growth well into the future.

If you’re looking to grow your business, expanding your C-suite is a step in the right direction. Executives offer guidance, overcome challenges and bring a wealth of knowledge to your team. They serve a multitude of different purposes, and you’re sure to find one that can help you tap into your company’s full potential.

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