Growing Exponentially: You Made It to 200 Employees! Three Things to Have in Mind.
The conventional wisdom about scaling a business is that you need to grow gradually. This way you can handle the waves of new business without becoming overwhelmed. But in high-growth companies, it’s not always possible to control how quickly you need to scale your capacity.
Galen M. Hair, the owner of Insurance Claim HQ, experienced this type of exponential growth firsthand when his New Orleans-based company grew from seven employees to 200 in less than a year. And his success is a testament to what happens when you ignore conventional wisdom. As he says:
We’re proving that you can scale quickly and overcome any growing pains along the way.
The key is to match your capabilities with adequate growth in order to stay ahead of the curve. For entrepreneurs like Hair who are leading the charge at high-growth organizations, these three strategies helped them keep pace – and will help you keep your head.
1) Regularly check in with your priorities.
One of the growing pains many scaling companies bump up against is shifting priorities. If a company isn’t agile, they can miss huge opportunities this way. Hair adds:
To maintain your momentum, make sure you are consistently leveraging the highest-value opportunities.
This means regularly checking in with your priorities and realigning your systems accordingly. Additionally, be sure that as your company grows, old and new employees are all aligned. Hair says:
The more employees you hire, the more important it is to make sure everyone is on the same page at all times.
Write down your 30-, 60-, and 90-day plans and share them with all stakeholders. When your whole team sees how their roles fit in with the organization’s priorities, they'll feel empowered and more a part of the team.
2) Don’t underestimate the power of subtraction.
When you’re scaling quickly, you can become overly focused on addition. After all, you’ve been in “addition mode” from the very beginning. Your daily conversations likely surround the need for more:
However, this concentration on “more” can obscure an equally important focus: the need for subtraction. So it’s also important to make time for conversations about what you can do without.
Ask your team:
- What tasks have become redundant or unnecessary?
- Given our current goals, what projects need to be lower on the priority list?
- Where can we cut back in order to save time or increase our capacity for higher-value work?
When you clear away the underbrush that’s holding you back, you’ll likely see new ways you can expand capacity and fill in the space you’ve created.
This strategy helps your organization run more efficiently. There’s a good reason the buzzword “lean” is trending across all industries.
[Related: The Way We Work]
3) Stay grounded and focused.
Finally, explosive growth can surprise even the most optimistic entrepreneurs and can really knock you off your feet (in a good way!). When this happens, make sure to get grounded again as quickly as possible. If you lose focus, you risk missing huge opportunities.
While it’s tough to stay realistic in an exponential growth scenario, without this realist mindset, you run the risk of overconfidence, relying on wishful thinking, and being unprepared for the road ahead.
When you face reality squarely and focus on what you can control, you can plan for the future while still being prepared for any obstacles.
If you constantly ask yourself the following questions, you’ll keep yourself grounded and focused:
- What do I need to learn and how will I learn it?
- What are the risks and how can we eliminate, mitigate, or accept them?
- What are my worst fears and how will I face them and recover?
I ask myself these questions every day. It’s not that I’m pessimistic or enjoy dwelling on the negative. It’s just that these are the questions that keep me focused on where I’m steering this ship.
Indeed, pessimists don’t typically challenge conventional wisdom. And Hair prides himself on doing so:
I just can’t see intentionally holding back my company, when opportunities for rapid-growth reveal themselves.
Companies experiencing dramatic growth need entrepreneurs who can execute on strategies that will help them keep pace. By regularly checking in with your priorities, remembering the power of subtraction, and staying focused, you can join Hair among the ranks of those who reject conventional wisdom and welcome explosive growth.
[Related: The Power of Trust]
Aleksandra Mihajlovska a theater actress and communications professional. She uses theater tools to work on personal and creative development of people of all ages, with a specific focus on youngsters, girls, and marginalized groups. She leads workshops on communication, conflict resolution, intercultural dialogue, and advocacy through arts.
Galen M. Hair, Owner of Insurance Claim HQ, is a property insurance attorney. His firm operates in more than seven states including Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia among others. Galen and his team have helped over 800 families rebuild their homes and businesses. He has been rated a Super Lawyers Rising Star and voted one of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. To learn more about how Galen and his partner, Alexander Shunnarah, can help protect property from disaster, please visit their website.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
I am a theater actress and communications professional. I use theater tools to work on personal and creative development of people of all ages with a specific focus on youngsters, girls and marginalized groups. I lead workshops on communication, conflict resolution, intercultural dialogue, and advocacy through arts. I work with individuals, groups, companies and brands. Continue Reading
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