Growing pains hurt! When I was a kid, and I spent the entire day running around the park or riding my bike, my muscle pain from that exercise would keep me up at night. My mom used to call this a “growing pain”. She would help me get to sleep by massaging the sore muscle until it relaxed. What I didn’t know was what actually caused the pain. Now, most of us understand that it’s caused by muscle tearing during exercise and the inflammation of the healing process.
Your business will have these sorts of pains too.
If you want to grow a company, the first thing you have to do is be prepared to deal with changes that might be uncomfortable or even downright unpleasant. These sorts of things will vary from large expenditures (like updating all of the hardware at once) to a sudden major change in product to adding additional management. However, just like the muscle pain, the change leads to greater strength.
“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.”
— James Belasco and Ralph Stayer, Flight of the Buffalo (1994)
Some changes, however, can happen with less or no pain if you’re prepared for them in advance. For example, one of the pains of adding employees to certain departments is the cost of new software. If you’ve ever purchased a copy of a certain office productivity software, you’ll notice that it comes with a license code, which is good for exactly three computers. Need it on four computers? Buy another license and have 2 extra computers available. That seems kind of silly to me. Why not use a software that allows unlimited users and computers to access it? They’re largely available. (And we can help you set it up! Ok, sorry, shameless self promotion…)
All in all, reducing the pains of growth and receiving the benefits is all about preparedness. One of my favorite business writers, Jeff Haden, offers this article from CEO.com. It’s a list of reasons you’ll lose great employees. Again, dealing with the pains is all about preparedness and, like I learned as a kid, knowing is half the battle.
Image by VSmoothe on Flickr