Starting a new business is always a stressful ordeal, no matter how much experience you may already have. And when it’s a brand new field for you – or worse, your first company altogether – things can get really messy if you’re not careful and aren’t prepared for everything you’ll have to deal with. There are various things that you’ll need to keep in mind when setting up a company from scratch, especially if you want to operate in some more competitive markets. In general, maintaining a firm grip on the growth rate of the organization and its alignment with current standards is going to be the most critical aspect of its evolution.
Don’t Grow Too Fast
A common mistake many entrepreneurs tend to make with their first businesses is to take too much advantage of attractive growth opportunities. There’s a common misconception that getting your company to grow is the main challenge in a new business. While that’s not easy, the more difficult part of the whole ordeal is ensuring that you can keep up with your current growth rate.
Taking on new employees too quickly, expanding to new facilities, investing in new equipment and licenses – these are all things that can lead to the downfall of your organization if you’re not careful. Sure, when you get to a period of increased market demands, you’ll want to evolve your company to meet them. The tricky part is to avoid overshooting, which will leave you with a bunch of assets that have no place in the organization after that demanding period is over, putting a strain on your business as a whole.
It can be hard to direct the growth of your business without too much experience with its corresponding market, which is why you should have at least someone on your team who’s knowledgeable enough to guide you through those moments with enough reassurance.
Internal Training Can Save Time and Money
You’ll need to ensure that all new employees are properly trained, but this can be difficult to keep up with as the company is growing. External training courses can quickly add up, and if they are all related to the work you’re doing, it might make more sense to create a system for cross-training where new employees can be shown the ropes by those with more experience who’ve already been at the organization for some time. This can be particularly useful for jobs that require a lot of hands-on experience, which can benefit especially well from an environment where new workers are taught by their future colleagues.
This will improve team morale among other things, leading to a more productive environment for everyone. And, of course, you’ll also be in more control of the way training is handled, e.g. you’ll be able to focus on the skills that actually matter the most for your specific work, instead of having your employees attend courses where they are only interested in about half of the material taught.
When organized correctly, this can help you handle periods of rapid growth with ease, as you’ll always have enough people available to handle the training of new workers coming in. Of course, there’s a reasonable limit to everything, but you should at least be more prepared for a moment of explosive growth compared to the average company on the market that doesn’t do any internal training at all.
If the work done at your company involves any potentially hazardous procedures, it’s important that all your employees go through OSHA training before they’re even allowed near any dangerous equipment. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough, and considering that it’s possible to acquire an OSHA training course online, there’s simply no excuse for letting your workers remain ignorant about important safety procedures in their work.
Even if you don’t care about the safety of your workers from a moral perspective – and you should – you should at least remember that any workplace incident means delays, potential fines, as well as dealing with the situation of an injured employee. The more often this happens, the less capable your organization will be as a whole, and this will severely drag things down if it becomes a common issue. It’s very easy to prevent things from getting that bad as well, you just have to set up appropriate safety training routines and stick to them as best as possible.
That last bit is important though – it’s not enough to simply send your workers on OSHA training courses and consider your part of the job done. You must also put measures in place to ensure that everyone is following workplace safety guidelines at every step of the way, even if it makes you look like the bad guy in a certain light. If people keep breaking the rules, put punishments in place such as fines and forced time off – it’s better to get dirty looks from your employees for punishing someone who’s not paying attention than to deal with a situation where that same employee has injured themselves or someone else in a really bad way.
Follow New Developments Closely
A common reason for companies to go under is that they become too comfortable with a certain way of doing things and refuse to adapt to new developments in their fields. Or, in some cases, there might be some willingness to adopt those new developments, but the company takes action far too late and ends up lagging behind their main competitors for too long.
There is always something new going on in every field that’s worth paying attention to. In IT, for example, AI is the next big thing and it’s going to lead to a boom in automation really soon. Keep track of those developments if your work is the kind that can benefit from automated systems. The same can be said for every field out there – you have to always pay attention to how the market is moving and what new things are on the horizon and be ready to adopt them into your own work as soon as they are fleshed out enough.
Don’t wait for the competition to go first so you can see the results – be the one that takes that first step and actually benefit from your competitors! Even if you run into some issues along the way, you’ll still gain more experience than you would by simply following the implementation of someone else. Plus, you never know when you might run into an opportunity to teach other members of your industry about the way a certain new piece of technology works.
Keeping a new business afloat is never easy, no matter how experienced you may be with its line of work. You have to be ready to take risks, and you must always be willing to push for the adoption of new technologies. Most importantly, you must be able to see things from the perspective of your workers and steer any new developments in a direction that benefits them the most. After all, they are the pillars holding up your entire company and it doesn’t make sense to implement improvements starting from the top and leave scraps for your workers. Pretty much everyone who’s tried that approach is now out of the market.