You’re Only As Strong As Those You Invest In: Five Tips For Surviving Business Growing Pains
By Javon Frazier, founder/CEO of Maestro Media.
It’s humbling looking back at the meteoric rise and success my company has experienced since launching just under two years ago, but with the rapid growth came the dreaded growing pains that I was, admittedly, not 100% prepared for. Here are five things I learned that helped my company not only survive but thrive with our rapid growth. Hopefully, they help you, too.
Be cognizant of your team’s workload.
I wouldn’t be where I am now without my team, and I want to do everything in my power to show my appreciation for them. Just six months after launching the company, we were generating over $11 million in revenue, with a very healthy bottom line. Going from a Stage One company to essentially a Stage Four company in the blink of an eye highlighted a glaring problem—we simply didn’t have the manpower to be sustainable. So be cognizant of your team’s workload and stress levels.
Take charge and evaluate your growing needs.
I was experiencing alongside my team a lack of proper resources, processes, and time, resulting in internal confusion, frustration and anger. As the founder and CEO, it’s my job to lead the company down the path of success, and I needed to step up to the plate and do just that. When you start to see your team beginning to be stretched thin, it’s time to reinvest in your people and begin looking for new members to bring into the fold.
Invest in new talent.
As I’m sure you already know, it’s imperative to have the right people in the right positions, so make sure you spend enough time finding the best possible talent and recruiting them for your team. To make the cut, they should be aligned with your vision, your mission and your culture. It doesn’t matter if they have a history of multi-million dollar deals—while that’s great and I applaud them for it, if in the end they are not aligned with your vision or are not compatible with your culture, they won’t make the cut. Look for people who have the same passion as you and who want to be with the company for years to come. My best advice in this area is to “hire slow, fire fast”—take your time to find the right people and weed out the wrong ones from within if necessary.
Reinvest in your legacy talent.
However, don’t just look outward to further build the foundation of your company; your original team, the ones who were with you when the company was nothing more than an idea, are the original rocks and need to be rewarded and further invested in as well. These are the people who helped establish your culture and helped make your vision a reality. It would be a tremendous disservice not to reward them for all their effort. By reinvesting in your original team (be it financial, educational, professional advancement, etc), you can be rewarded ten-fold with a world-class team dedicated to helping not only your clients but also each other.
Reinforce your company’s foundation.
The leader must be in the driver’s seat, setting a vision and driving the company toward that vision, no matter what. But if it’s to happen, it requires not only the growth of your company, but the growth of the people around you. A weak foundation could topple any tower, and without a team you 100% believe in and support, you’re going to inevitably topple yourself. Remember, you’re only as strong as those around you, so it’s in your best interest to ensure they are properly supported, incentivized and inspired.