Charlie Fusco, CEO, Synergixx, LLC
If you’re a small company desiring or experiencing rapid growth – jump in–but do so cautiously. Clearly, you’re producing a valuable service or product, but without careful strategies to manage your growth, the business can plummet as quickly as it rose.
SAVE MONEY TO MAKE MONEY
Rapid expansion, especially for small companies, often presents quick and unexpected opportunities. This can lead to spending money to make money. Another tendency is often to create deals with prospective larger clients to get them in the door, which cuts into profit margins. Adding new business on the top, while not maximizing bottom dollars is dangerous. Once you grow, be sure you have a clear sight line to your bank account and continue saving. Laptop computers use approximately 90% less energy than standard desktop computers. Use social media platforms and a free college intern to reduce advertising budgets by 50%. Form a purchasing group with other companies possessing similar risk levels, to cut commercial insurance costs. Savings opportunities are everywhere.
DOWNSIZE TO UPSIZE
In the last 20 years, I’ve watched small companies flourish from a single product launch or retail opportunity. Many times the CEO reacts by bringing outsourced services in-house. However, this places many owners in the unhappy position of managing staff, instead of allowing them to focus on the business expertise that made them successful. Saving money by bringing more employees in-house may seem like a great idea, but is not appropriate for every company. Rapid growth works when you stick to your core business and run it well. Increasing your physical footprint can lead to implosion. Instead, I often recommend considering what you can downsize or outsource. Even if you’re paying a little more for these services, you tap into expertise, execution speed, and nimbleness you can’t get in your own company. Never do what you can get others to do faster, better, and possibly cheaper.
KEEP CUSTOMERS HAPPY
During rapid growth the greatest danger is customers who feel ignored. The bigger you grow the smaller they feel. You become vulnerable to competitors as your client starts considering “what if options.” Make sure your customers feel extra special during a growth period. Update clients on all the positive ways your growth impacts their business.
SPEND 20 MINUTES A DAY ONLINE
If I had a nickel for every time a business owner said. “I don’t have time for social media,” I’d be retired at age 39. Take the initial 20 minutes of your day to manage your online reputation. Check LinkedIn first –because it’s the biggest business networking event online. Facebook is number two – and don’t post what you had for breakfast – make it something shareable. Twitter is third – start a conversation that works throughout the day. If you have another minute, comment on Pinterest or YouTube. Building your online reputation in your own voice is invaluable. The number of views, shares, reposts, likes and tweets provides insight into how you and your company are perceived and whether the messages are accurate. We commonly search online for reviews before making business commitments. A single bad review can obliterate any hopes of sustaining rapid growth. Estimates show 80% of consumers change their mind following a negative online review. Get positive posts out there ahead of your competitors.
Remember, to sustain rapid growth by:
- Spending 20 minutes online daily
- Saving and expanding your bank account
- Seeking new ways to cut costs
- Ensuring no customer ever feels neglected
- Keeping your eye on the core product or service
About the Author
Charlie Fusco, is CEO and Creative Director of Synergix, LLC, a national, multi-million dollar direct response agency with more than 100 employees. Since 1995 she has specialized in selling her clients’ health and beauty products, among others, direct to the consumer, through diverse media channels and back-end support. A prolific industry speaker and writer on media, marketing, brands, business growth, and celebrity endorsements, Fusco also regularly collaborates with clients and investors on growth strategies, including operating lean with high profit margins. She can be reached at Charlie@Synergixx.com