Female entrepreneurs make up 50% of our community here at Forward Ladies, and we are incredibly proud of the achievements of each one of them. We’re excited to recognize their hard work and dedication at the FL Leadership Summit and Awards.
Our awards offer a unique chance to showcase these successful entrepreneurs, continuing the series started in the Unstoppable Women Book. In the book Unstoppable Women, our CEO, Griselda Togobo, interviewed 26 unstoppable female founders who shared their journeys, experiences, insights and lessons learned to start and grow their thriving businesses. Within the book, you will learn the ins and outs of starting up, scaling and exiting a business.
Below are five business growth mistakes that the Unstoppable Women have told us we must avoid.
1. Poor Scalability Planning
“Growth is what every business aspires for, and although it’s fantastic, you must ensure you can properly support it. Get the right people in at the right time – don’t try and do everything yourself or cut corners. The business needs the right things in place, or it won’t fly.” – Tricia Cusden, Founder, Look Fabulous Forever.
Scaling a business is exciting, but it’s about more than just expanding. You’ve got to plan it right. Anticipate growth by understanding market trends, redesigning processes, and building the right team. Think of it as preparing for a grand adventure; you need a map, the right gear, and a trustworthy team. It is, therefore, vital to conduct regular growth assessments to know when is right, invest in scalable technology and foster a culture of scalability. An effective way to prepare for this is to create a thorough scalability plan. This plan should pinpoint the most crucial areas within your business and develop strategies for future expansion. For example, if you expect your sales volume to increase, you would have to create a plan that captures augmentation of internal business development processes to cut across deal closing timelines, capacity to deliver demands, logistics and mutually beneficial collaboration.
Also, growth management is change management. It necessitates considerable investment in relevant technology to automate and streamline processes to get more done in a limited time. For instance, a resource planning system can efficiently handle tasks like tracking inventory, managing production, and overseeing finances on a larger scale. This will free up more time to tackle strategic aspects of growth that demand critical decision-making.
2- Neglecting User Experience
“Don’t confuse activity with progress. It’s easy to be a busy fool. And don’t chase profits – chase happy customers, and the profits will come naturally”- Caroline Sparks, Managing Director, Turtle Tots.
Maintaining a great user experience as your business grows can be challenging. In a world where competition is fierce, user experience is queen. But how do you start? Customers want a seamless experience, and if you don’t deliver, they might not return. Entrepreneurs who prioritize understanding their customers’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviours can create offers that fulfil needs, inspire action, and keep them returning.
Therefore, it’s imperative to recognize that during rapid growth periods, overlooking user excellence’s impact on business success can be a costly mistake. To avoid this pitfall, entrepreneurs should invest in continuous training for teams, empower UX professionals, conduct regular user research, and foster a culture of design thinking and iterative testing throughout their growth journey. Doing so can ensure they remain attuned to their customers’ evolving needs and expectations, driving long-term sustainable growth.
3- Fear Of Delegating
“I think people who talk about being stressed just mean they’re very busy. It’s within your control to do that work, solve that problem, tackle that issue. That’s not to say you have to do everything yourself” – Harriet Kelsall, Founder, Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery.
We get it. Letting go of tasks can be challenging. But, as your business grows, delegation is the way to go. Give clear instructions, build trust within your team, and watch them shine. When they succeed, you succeed. Most importantly, recognizing your strengths and identifying tasks others can handle effectively is essential. Delegation frees up valuable time and energy and empowers you to focus on strategic decisions and innovation to sustain the business’s growth.
To make delegation effective, consider these key strategies. Begin with clear communication when assigning tasks to team members, outlining expectations and desired outcomes. Foster trust within your team and ensure team members have the resources to carry out their tasks effectively. Then, do regular check-ins to monitor progress, provide feedback, and offer support to nurture decision-making skills and create a sense of ownership and accountability. Ultimately, delegate tasks to individuals with relevant expertise, allowing them to leverage their skills and knowledge while complementing with occasional upskilling.
4- Overexpanding Too Quickly
“Scaling the business was a challenge, particularly with a people-heavy business model that relies on technical knowledge and industry insight. Once we’d honed our core values, we realized we had a proposition that could work in other markets” – Jo Stephenson – PHD Marketing
It’s tempting to go big when demand soars. But, rapid growth can bring problems like cash flow issues and operational chaos. Rapid growth can strain a business’s resources in several ways. For example, it can lead to cash flow problems, as the company may need to generate more revenue to cover its costs. It can also lead to operational issues, as the business may not have the systems and processes to handle the increased demand.
To avoid overexpanding too quickly while experiencing increased demand, it is crucial to take a strategic approach to growth. This involves thoroughly assessing your current resources and capabilities, developing a realistic growth plan, prioritizing your investments, monitoring your key metrics closely, and being willing to slow down your growth if necessary.
5- Not Leveraging Coaching And Strategic Partnerships
“Get a mentor – preferably one already working in the type of business you’d love to emulate. Having a sounding board for ideas is invaluable; you can’t hope to know everything if it’s something you’ve not done before” – Susanna Lawson, OneFile
It gets more complex managing growth at the blind side. Coaching and partnerships become your guiding stars, sailing into uncharted waters. They offer insights and strategies, and perspectives that are crucial for making informed decisions and sustaining growth.
To avoid neglecting these essential elements, you should proactively cultivate your professional network and seek coaching and mentoring relationships that align with your growth objectives. Additionally, forging strategic partnerships with your network and complementary businesses can boost scalability and market reach.
In a nutshell, building a business can be challenging, but it can also become an exciting journey. In a rapidly evolving landscape, adaptability is the key to success. So, this year, we’ve assembled an exceptional lineup of seasoned leaders who’ve stood the test of time and are ready to share invaluable insights on navigating business leadership challenges.
Take advantage of the opportunity to connect and learn.
Come and be inspired! Book Your Tickets Now!
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