When businesses face a period of rapid growth, it can be tempting to adopt short-term measures to cope with the increased demand. While these measures may help to temporarily remove operational bottlenecks, they may also have a negative long-term impact. By identifying and mitigating potential marketing bottlenecks, you can increase your marketing efficiency and improve your company’s outlook.
Operational bottlenecks are the unforeseen consequences of rapid growth. They occur when the volume of work your company receives exceeds the company’s available resources. This can result in a lack of clarity regarding how your company’s resources should be allocated and an increase in operational inefficiencies.
Make Data-Based Decisions
One of the best ways to avoid operational bottlenecks is to create goals and objectives that are data-driven. This article in “The Economist” advises, “Data-driven decision-making is the hallmark of intelligent organizations. It is the basis for all effective optimization and, most critically, it is the antidote to the disease of operational inefficiency.”
Too often, companies make decisions without having the necessary data to make an informed judgment. This can have a negative impact on your company’s growth and efficiency. By following data-based decision-making practices, you can ensure that your organization makes informed choices that reflect the true state of your business.
Hire Slowly Recruit Suddenly
As your company grows, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance between hiring new employees and training existing employees. If you hire too quickly, you may experience operational inefficiencies such as training new employees and dealing with a lack of qualified applicants. On the other hand, if you choose to hire slowly, you may end up with employees who are unable to handle the increased workload and who leave your company due to burnout.
The key is to find the right pace for both hiring new employees and training existing employees.
To hire slowly, try to complete the following tasks at the same time as you prepare to hire new employees:
- Create a hiring plan that specifies the number of new employees you will hire each month, their locations, and their approximate job responsibilities.
- Create an onboarding plan that helps new employees learn about your company’s culture and how they can be successful.
- Arrange for each new employee to complete an assessment that determines their skill set and work style.
- Identify which employees will be responsible for training new employees.
When hiring remote employees, attend an in-person job interview with the new employee to ensure a smooth transition.
- To hire quickly, try to complete the following tasks at the same time as you prepare to hire new employees:
- Complete a large portion of the hiring process through an online application.
- Conduct interviews over the phone or through video chat.
- Address concerns and questions from the hiring manager and hiring team via email.
- Narrow down the hiring pool from a large group of applicants to a smaller group for face-to-face interviews.
- Hire quickly, but hire selectively. Select only candidates who will add value to your company and contribute to its growth.
Establish a Growth Strategy
As your company grows, it’s important to have a growth strategy in place that identifies where you would like to be in the near future. This will help to prioritize the tasks on your to-do list.
A growth strategy should include the following elements:
- A timeline for achieving your goals.
- Key performance indicators (KPIs) that are focused on the metrics that matter most to your business.
- A list of critical success factors (CSFs) that outline what your company needs to do in order to achieve its goals.
- Resource allocation decisions that outline which areas of your business will experience the most growth.
- Contingency planning that outlines how you will deal with any unforeseen obstacles that could interfere with your growth strategy.
Optimize Your Team
As your company grows, it’s important to evaluate which team members are critical to achieving your goals. You may find that certain members are no longer as useful to your business as others.
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to evaluate the state of your team:
- Do members of this team have the right skills and experience to do their jobs effectively?
- Do members of this team have the right attitude to work effectively with others?
- Do members of this team feel included and motivated on a day-to-day basis?
If the answers to any of these questions are no, then it may be time to make a change. You can also try assigning each team member a tracking number for their monthly accomplishments. This can help you to better identify which members are critical to the success of your business each month.
As your company grows, it’s important to be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. This will enable you to maximize the benefits of scale and operate with an efficiency that was previously unimaginable.
To achieve this, you must identify and mitigate potential operational bottlenecks. This article in “The Economist” offers some helpful advice:
“Growth isn’t easy. But without it, companies die. The trick is to grow smartly. That means combating operational inefficiencies before they develop into full-blown problems. And it means having a plan for dealing with them if they arise.”
Growth can be scary, but without it, your business will die. The trick is to grow smartly.