Every new business wants to grow and reach the next level. However, you should always be cautious about growing too big too fast. You want to make sure you’re not making rash decisions or spending money just because you can. Growth is good—you just need to assess the best way to channel that growth appropriately.
If you fear you've grown too quickly and made some mistakes in scaling up, it's not too late to course-correct. Below, Forbes Coaches Council members share their advice for entrepreneurs in this situation right now.
1. Realign Your Company Values
A rapidly-growing business may leave little time to define corporate values and culture, increasing the possibility of a toxic environment. Instead, leaders should drill down on their corporate mission and outline the values that define the company. Prioritizing these tenets can positively impact hiring, culture and workplace environment, ultimately strengthening the bottom line. - Rick Gibbs, Insperity
2. Go Back To Basics
The key is to go back to the basics of what worked to help you scale quickly in the first place. Leaders can get caught up in a lot of exhausting initiatives and opportunities that aren't the needle-movers that keep the revenue consistently growing. Keep the overall business model simple and sustainable, and focus your valuable energy and attention on the things that give you the most ROI. - Joy Bufalini, Simplify to Multiply
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3. Don't React—Act!
Staying out of the "Reactive Zone" is one of the most difficult things to do when growing your business. We hire wrong, buy the wrong tools and the next thing you know we're bolting the doors on the vehicle as it goes down the road. Armed with metrics of practical application, now is the perfect time to take a deep breath and rescale your efforts to reflect realistic, executable timetables. - Kevin Leonard, Emerald Bay Performance
4. Ask For Help
Anything can be fixed! It's easy to go all-in on your vision and end up in a sticky place when you realize you're in over your head. Once growth overwhelm has put you into dangerous territory, it can be critical to shed any tunnel vision and look to an outside expert to help you realign, re-envision, cut what isn't working and adjust the trajectory to start growing again, in a workable manner. - Laura DeCarlo, Career Directors International
5. Scale Back And Grow Slowly
I've overbuilt and scaled too quickly multiple times, believing scaling back would show weakness. After selling four companies, I've learned to scale slowly and scale back when things get too complex. Focusing on your top 20% of a customer base is where the joy and real profit is. Give your team the ability to fire your worst clients and your team and culture will thank you for it. - Mike Koenigs, MikeKoenigs.com
6. Stay Focused On What You Can Control Right Now
As humans, the only moment we control is now. Whatever the backstory, however your business grew to where it is today, ask yourself what actions you need to take today to create the outcomes you want. Successful entrepreneurs focus on the present state, don't spend time on regret or overwhelm and fearlessly make decisions and take actions that are optimal for their business in the long term. - Shefali Raina, Alpha Lane Partners
7. Step Outside Your Frame Of Mind
If your friend was in your situation right now, what would you tell them? Would you tell them they suck at planning or would you ask them what they need to remove the overwhelm and feel on top? Oftentimes, we think we scale too fast when, in fact, we're not yet prepared emotionally to step up. Addressing emotional blockages first helps business flow much better. - Anne Beaulieu, Walking Inside Resources Inc.
8. Automate Everything That Doesn't Allow You To Focus
Spend one week writing down everything you don't want to do, even tasks that take 10 minutes. At the end of the week, you'll have a long list of items to give to a virtual assistant (VA). Create a Loom screen share video of you completing each task and link those videos to the task so the VA can see how it is done. You can free up 80% of your workday doing this. - Mike Volkin, Freelancer Masterclass
9. Don't Be Afraid To Let Go
Think through carefully what has to be done to stabilize the business. Perhaps you need to let go of "D" list customers. You may have overstaffed or taken on too large a facility. Most often, though, the overwhelm comes from the CEO or entrepreneur who is still trying to control everything. You should only be doing what only you can do. Figure out who to turn the rest over to and let go. - Brian Gorman, TransformingLives.Coach
10. Evaluate, Adjust And Focus On Your Plan
In many cases when we think we have scaled too quickly, we've simply spread ourselves too thin. Take some time to sit back and analyze your plan and goals. This activity will allow you to focus on what is most important to the growth of the business, while eliminating those low-to-no value-added activities. When done correctly, you can continue to grow while spending less time doing it. - Donald Hatter, Donald Hatter Inc.
11. Get Honest With Yourself
If you find yourself in a place of overwhelm and fear, the best place to start is with you. Ask yourself a few valuable questions: What were the main goals for the business? Is my foundation strong? Am I putting service before sales? These three questions will help you to strengthen your "why" and the foundation for future success. Transparency is key—get real, get clear! - Miranda VonFricken, Miranda VonFricken Masterminds & Coaching
12. Stop Trying To Grow For Growth's Sake
Growth isn't everything. In fact, "growing for the sake of growth" is oftentimes the downfall of many budding entrepreneurs. To escape the pitfall of growing for the sake of growth, get extremely clear on the ways in which you can grow sustainably and profitably and to the benefit of the customer, client or mission you're working to serve. - Dave Ursillo, Lead Without Followers, LLC.
13. Identify And Take Daily Focused Steps
Identify what is working, where there are gaps and prioritize what is most important to ensure three areas: raving fan clients, strong profitability and a good working environment. Create a daily action list to chip away one key priority a day until you begin to see positive changes. Ask for support and seek out resources who have experience and talent to help you through the growth curve. - Bobbie Goheen, Synthesis Management Group
14. Think About What Went Wrong
Think through what went wrong. Be painfully honest, but don't dwell there, and don't feel like you have to fix it all on your own. Discuss with your team to determine the best way to move forward. Do you drop or pause one of your products or services? Do you hire more people? Do you invest in a new platform? Then, make the necessary adjustments to pivot, adapt and move forward successfully. - Andy Bailey, Petra Coach
15. Stay People-Focused
The potential for growth is a great motivator; however, taking the time to keep people focused on the greater goal in terms of market share growth, company growth and personal growth is key. While systems and structures will take time to stabilize, stay active as the chief motivator and keep people excited about what is ahead, and keep the positive energy in abundance. - Kelly Huang, Genesis Advisers
16. Fall Down Seven Times, And Get Up Eight
This won't be the first nor will it be the last time you're overwhelmed. Reflect back on your previous accomplishments of overcoming a challenge. Take a deep breath and talk to someone who has been there before. You didn't get where you are because you threw in the towel. Pick yourself up, begin taking one step at a time to downsize and you'll be back in the saddle in no time. - Elizabeth Ruiz, EAR Enterprises
Source: This article was initially published on March 10, 2020, on Forbes here.