Entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives are constantly looking for ways to grow their business. Sales funnels, click through rates, sales volume, and profitability percentages are all common measures of success in business. When those numbers increase, it means you’re on the right track.
It’s easy to measure business growth using this type of data. Any business that has a Content Management System (CMS) in place, like Salesforce, is able to track sales activity. Marketing reporting tools will provide details about click through rates and sales volume, and your accounting team will be able to produce reports that pertain to profitability. These are all must-have sources for business owners and senior-level leadership teams to be able to keep an eye on business. If these numbers begin to skew, it’s time to make adjustments to your strategy.
Growth parameters listed above are tried-and-true. Keeping an eye on this data weekly, monthly, and annually will tell a story that helps you make vital business decisions. However, many businesses forget about employee growth. How do you know when to pay attention to the team that supports sales data?
When to Hire
For many businesses, making the decision to hire a new employee is nerve-racking. What exactly is the threshold, how do you know that you’ll have enough work for that person, and how are you going to be able to afford a new resource? This can be a scary and stressful decision. Using business growth parameters or project management tools can help make these types of decisions. Your team will also tell you. Pay attention to the number of hours that people are working, operational efficiencies, and stress levels. Use as much information as possible to paint a picture that will help you make the most informed decision.
Maintaining Company Culture
The further we get into the details of thresholds, the grayer things become. Looking at sales reports is incredibly accurate and making decisions based on that information is straight-forward. However, when it comes to your team and maintaining your company culture, how do you know when to check in? When do you make adjustments? You’ve built a successful business and feel like you’ve hired the right people, so why is the dynamic changing?
When to bring in a business coach or consultant
If you are in startup mode, we suggest talking to a business coach before you hire your first employee. By doing this, you can continue focusing on your product or service and doing the work, because let’s face it, you’re in survival mode and you are living in the moment rather than thinking about long-term strategy. By hiring a business coach, that person can help lay the foundation for growth while you focus on the here and now.
The other two thresholds to pay attention to are before you hire your 20th employee and once you’ve hit the 80 employee mark.
After working with multiple businesses to support growth, we have found these two thresholds to be magic numbers. There’s a paradigm shift that happens at these stages. They can’t be supported by sales reports or data, but these are the thresholds where we begin to see culture shifts. These are moments in time where you should be paying close attention to your people, re-visiting career development programs, and checking in to ensure that your team is happy.
If your business is in growth mode, hiring a business coach or consultant to help maintain your working environment is as important as making a CFO or Controller hire. They’ll provide an additional data source for you to make decisions and keep your culture intact.