13 Questions: Is your company growing too fast?

A recent national shipping company's television advertisement began with a company manager in a panic describing all of the issues he is facing has because of a great spike of growth in the business. Following the manager's tantrum, a worker simply asked the raving manager, "But isn't growth the reason why we are in the business?"

Growth should be a goal of any business, but growth should also be carefully planned. Impatience can lead to a number of common mishaps: the failed launch of a new product or service, expanding into an unfamiliar field before the company is ready, buying new equipment before you can actually afford it, or making an acquisition without proper due diligence. Should you curb your current growth plan?

Answer the following 13 questions, True or False and find out.

  1. Every day you're running in a constant crisis mode.
  2. You don't have any time to each month to evaluate what's going on in your industry.
  3. You've hired more temporary help than permanent employees in order to keep up with demand.
  4. You seem to get less financial return for every dollar you add to the payroll.
  5. Your posted job openings outnumber the number of workers you currently employ.
  6. Your back orders have grown substantially beyond your standard lead time.
  7. Your adoption of new technology is either well ahead or well behind a company of your size.
  8. Customer complaints are increasing.
  9. Your overhead costs are skyrocketing.
  10. Your existing customers are not getting the attention they deserve because you're pursuing new clients.
  11. Cash flow is tight because of your expenses and debts.
  12. Employees or a product group are putting a strain on the overall profitability of the company.
  13. You don't have a good handle on accounts receivable management or the finances.

If you answered True to more than three of these questions, your company is probably at risk of becoming out of your own control.

Take a step back and analyze what degree of growth is sustainable, profitable, and feasible for your business, and adjust your operations to make that growth a reality. This might require you to sideline some projects, or hold off on your dream of bigger offices, or even wait before adding staff. But in the end, your company will emerge stronger.

ThistleSea Business Development, has the resources and the expertise to help you grow a sustainable business. Give us a call at 724.935.1930 to schedule a confidential session to discuss your specific situation.

Adapted from Inc Magazine. Is your company growing too fast for you to keep up? - Gray, Keaton; August 2009.