We’ve all heard the stories of startups that have taken off and achieved crazy levels of growth. Overnight successes like Facebook, Slack, and Airbnb have become the stuff of legend. But for every startup that hits it big, there are dozens more that flame out just as quickly. So, how can you tell if your business is growing too fast?
Here are three signs:
Sign #1 You’re running out of cash
If you find yourself constantly dipping into your company’s emergency fund or raiding your personal savings to keep the lights on, that’s a surefire sign that your business is growing too fast. When businesses grow too quickly, they often don’t have enough cash on hand to meet their daily expenses, let alone make long-term investments in their future. If you’re not careful, you can find yourself in a death spiral of ever-increasing debt that will eventually sink your company.
My advice: Every business owner should read the book “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz.
Sign #2 Your team can’t keep up with demand
Another sign that your business is growing too fast is if you find yourself constantly playing catch-up. If you’re consistently back ordered on product, falling behind on deliveries, or unable to handle customer service inquiries in a timely manner, it’s a good bet that your business has outgrown its current infrastructure. When this happens, it’s essential to take a step back and reevaluate your operations to scale up in a way that doesn’t sacrifice quality or customer satisfaction.
Sign #3 You make more mistakes than usual
When businesses are growing rapidly, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks. If you find yourself making more mistakes than usual—whether it’s small things like typos on your website or bigger problems like missed deadlines or poor-quality products—it’s a sign that your business is growing too quickly for you to keep up with. To avoid costly mistakes, put systems in place that track what’s going on in your business and catch errors before they cause serious problems.
Scaling Isn’t Easy
Scaling a business is hard—there are no two ways about it. But if you want your startup to be the next big thing, it’s something you’ll have to learn how to do effectively. The key is to strike a balance between growth and profitability. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to let one side or the other get out of control and end up hurting your business in the long run. So, keep an eye out for these three signs: cash flow problems, overwhelmed team members, and increasing mistakes. If you see any of these red flags, hit the brakes and reevaluate your growth strategy to scale effectively and avoid putting your business at risk.