Doug Bruhnke of Growth Nation in Phoenix (www.growthnation.com) has a lot of marketing smarts….this why his business has been very successful and why he is featured in Examiner.com so much. His advice is good advice and should be shared with other small businessmen.
In a recent e-newsletter article, Bruhnke talked about what to do when your business is growing and you run into difficulties like the sales team doesn’t adapt well to the larger business or sales gets pulled into things that divert their attention like fulfillment, new products or explaining to customers that the firm can’t handle them right then and now. “In smaller f firms this problem is worse because often the growth resources double as fulfillment resources and as fulfillment goes up the firm struggles with growth”, states Bruhnke.
He offers five tips on how to deal with the issues caused by growth:
• Prioritize – Plan well so that you don’t overextend growth initiatives to 100% capacity of what you can do today or realize that your growth capacity will fluctuate in the future and plan accordingly. A problem faced by growing businesses is they bite off more than they can chew which puts a premium on saying no to some initiatives which is an essential part of the process with a business’s leadership team.
• Set metrics – Set metrics to follow on a daily, weekly or at least monthly basis. This gives your business a series of achievable goals to follow. Meet with the leadership team on a regular basis and talk about growth, not just operations. Bruhnke stresses firms like his can help set the appropriate metrics to follow and help you put in place systems to follow metrics month-to-month.
• Analyze results – Metrics are set to help you make adjustments to the business to help you over this growth hump that you are in. You have to review the results and adjust accordingly to strengthen the business. Again, using an outside firm can help. “Growth experts can help keep you from becoming emotionally attached to any given program,” states Bruhnke.
• Use automation - Examine the marketing and sales tools to automate a variety of the growth processes. You want to have these tools in place to keep things humming 24.7 and/ or when things get tight.
• Have flex resources – You may hurt the time an effort to spend on growth issues when marketing, sales and business development resources are pulled away on a variety of other tasks. Get other resources in place for a week or even a few months to keep the momentum going forward, not slip and go backward.
“Its human nature to drop the ball during business cycles, especially after handing a wave of new customers so have the business processes in place to mange those cycles and keep your spotlight on growth,” notes Bruhnke.