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Headless chicken syndrome – the curse of a growing business

So your business is up and running, orders are coming in, customers are keen to do business with you, and you find you have a demand for your product or service.

What a great place to be.

But, what if you find you can’t keep up – you’re running around like the proverbial headless chicken trying to keep everyone happy.

You’re bound to trip up, disappoint customers, lose control of your expenditure, and may even end up ill as a result of all the stress.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone, plenty more business owners struggle on through the tough growth stage of a business thinking they need to do everything to stay in control.

And here are some more indicators of business growing pains that shouldn’t be ignored:

  • Tight cash flow issues
  • Task management is out of control
  • Fire-fighting is a daily activity
  • Deadlines are missed
  • Staff don’t know what they should be doing first

It’s time to calm things down.

Stop and take a breath for a moment. A long deep breath that reaches to the depth of your stomach – then breathe out long and slow.

Feel better? Deep breathing is proven to calm the mind, it’s a great tonic in times of stress and a great tool to use in defence of your well-being.

You need a strategy to get you through this crucial stage, because beyond it lies a successful business with you at the helm, running it on your terms. So start with identifying where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

Accept that you can’t do everything, and identify what skill-sets are needed in your business that are best outsourced.

If you’re great at product innovation but poor at communication, hire a sales person so you can develop your products. If you prefer to be out there meeting new clients, and would rather not deal with the detail, hire an admin or personal assistant.

The key here is to play to your strengths. And outsourcing help needn’t mean a large financial outlay or committing to employing staff – there are plenty of freelancers in all business support roles willing to work flexibly to meet your needs.

It’s time to think about working on your business and not in it. Think strategically, review your business plan and check you’re on course to meet your objectives.

It can help at this stage to review your progress with an independent person – so you get an objective assessment of where you are and what you need to do to stay on track.

Remember growing pains are good, so long as you deal with them effectively.

Is your business reaching maturity? Read on...

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