18 Obstacles to Company Growth (and how to overcome them)

When a company increases in size, there are always obstacles to face. With business growth, problems can feel difficult and stressful. You’ve dealt with difficulties when starting your business and it is important to have a plan in place for when growing pains arise.

Feeling the pressure of business growth? Or planning for a potential growth and want to get a head start? Below we’ve created a list of 18 common obstacles to company growth and ways to deal with them.

1. Customer Retention

So, your company is growing and you have realised that you have a good product or service that customers enjoy. But how do you keep these customers coming back again and again? Facing competition and struggling to evolve with the market can be daunting.

A solution: Check what customers are repeatedly using your business. Find out more about them and the traits that are common among these customers. Also, always be prepared to ask customers what exactly they want. Feedback is key to business growth and your customers hold the key to that information.

2. Creating Effective Marketing Strategies.

With new social media platforms, marketing can seem daunting and stressful. Some businesses may get lost in the sea of marketing. However, for a basic start, you don’t need years’ worth of marketing experience or a college degree.

A solution: No strategy to your marketing could be holding you back. Once you have the foundations, upgrade and invest in a team of qualified marketers. Try researching common trends online, such as blogs. Try an omnichannel approach and spent plenty of time on social media. See what competition in the market is doing and create key performance indicators.

Do’s And Don’ts Of Marketing Strategies
Evaluate based on customer feedbackDo something out of your budget
Consider aesthetic changesRely on your website only
Review your websiteTake risks without conferring with marketing staff

3. Sometimes You Need To Abandon a Strategy.

There are times when some marketing plans aren’t fully realised when they seemed full of potential. Failure is a key part of business as you can learn from mistakes to grow as a person and as a business.

A solution: Sometimes you need to weigh up your options and realise that strategies may not be working and to cut your losses. Start afresh, regroup and learn from this failure to make the next plan even better.

4. Respond to the competition.

With the growth in business, you may notice other companies entering your sector to try and compete with you or steal some ideas. This is a common problem for many businesses and something you have to face.

A solution: Focus on you and what has made you successful. Keep evolving and outwitting the competition. You have been successful for a reason, learn from mistakes and thrive to put the competition away.

5. Tracking Overheads.

Sometimes, overheads can easily be missed and mount up without you realising. This is especially common in new business growth. Increasing rent, utility charges and admin expenses rack up quickly. If you don’t have a plan in place, overheads can be extremely damaging if they aren’t dealt with.
A solution: Check your spending and see areas when you could cut back. Try ways to remove areas of surplus and add in free video call services or cloud computing for example. Renting office equipment can be useful too.

6. Managing Cash Flow.

The second most common reason why businesses fail is cash flow problems. In business, you have to spend money to make money, especially when experiencing growth. Spending can sometimes get out of control and create problems that can’t be fixed.

A solution: Track your cash carefully. During a time of growth, use the methods that produce consistent sales. You can then maximise their contributions to your cash flow.

7. Knowing When And When Not To Get Involved.

Sometimes in business, you need to get involved. Making crucial decisions and plans of action. Other times, you need to allow other members of your team to make decisions, especially when it is their key area.

A solution: It is hard to let go, but sometimes you must let others take over. You hired them for a specific reason and they are trained and capable to take your business to new levels.

8. Compliance With Regulations.

If not dealt with appropriately, compliance with regulations can create huge issues. With markets constantly evolving, you may miss key regulations being brought in. Sometimes you may be unaware of these and face penalties.

A solution: Hiring a team or consultant to deal with these regulations can take a lot of stress away. If not, make sure to understand these rules, some may have complex wording. Always be clear and follow the restrictions.

9. Lead Generation.

As you know, to generate new leads, marketing is essential. It is hard to predict the market and keep up to date with trends. Key performance indicators allow you to see your business development processes. Thus, reflecting on revenue growth and the ways your business have been successful in generating traffic. Markets are always changing and not having staff watching new areas to explore can be a missed opportunity.

A solution: Most successful businesses create the right processes. They measure KPIs that are related to purchases within the company, then pump in additional resources to increase their revenue.

10. Evolving With Market Changes.

All businesses must be prepared for constant change. In the current climate, disruption is normal and training your employees to be able to deal with change is a good idea. At the moment the world is facing one big change and once things are back to normal, it will be another new normal.

A solution: Monitor the market and see ways in which there have been disruptions in the past. Create a plan of action to meet these changes and future-proof your company. Think outside the box and try and be prepared for new market creations and ideas. 

11. Monitoring Business Performance.

There are numerous ways to measure performance. Is that measuring sales? Employee satisfaction? Targets hit? Also, how do your potential indicators show your team is working to its potential? Your business can suffer if some targets are missed. Making sure that employees are on the same page with business growth can be effective, but bogging them down with unobtainable targets can lead to unhappiness.

A solution: Create a set of performance indicators, showing how your team and the business is performing. By identifying, clarifying and agreeing on expectations with your teams, you can view how results will be measured. Then monitor any progress that has been made by your team. It is important to reward targets being hit too, making employees happier, but also creates an incentive to work harder and meet their goals,

12. Finding Key Staff.

As your company increases in success and growth, you may find you need more staff to help deal with this new influx of business. Finding the, right right fit for your company can be daunting and sometimes stressful. It can be easy to hire the wrong person, leaving you with more stress. When hiring, it can be tricky to decide who would be the best fit for your company.

A solution: Throughout the hiring process, ensure the new staff will gel with current employees and get them on the same page as to where your business is heading. Find out what method of management works best for each individual, whether that’s with constant feedback, working alone or in groups. Creating a place where your staff can thrive is important for the health and success of your business. Research other companies, see what staff they have and you could be inspired to add some new members to your team.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiring New Staff
Workload is spreadMore costs
New ideasLess office space
Experts in their fieldTime consuming

13. Feedback.

Feedback is key for any business. Small, large, international, feedback is essential to growth. Businesses can be affected by both negative and positive feedback, so it is important to always listen to customers when they review your company.

A solution: Think about investing in a consultant that monitors online reviews and the perception of your company. They can recognise the ways your business is going wrong and right with customer service. Also, you can monitor popular web review sites and keep up to date with their feedback. Responding to these reviews is a great way to get to know your customers and seeing what makes them love or hate your company.

14. Creating Company Culture.

Everyone involved with your company adds to the business culture. The more your business grows, you’ll see more people added to your company’s orbit. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep control of your culture and can even risk it being derailed. An influx of new employees, market changes and customer preferences can interrupt your basic company culture.

A solution: Allow your company values to guide decisions your business makes and the direction you want to go. Employing amazing people who embrace their role will make an effort to follow the organisation’s culture and thrive to help others to maintain standards too. Having these employees on your side, from the customer service team to directors, will ensure the culture can grow and flourish. Having a set guideline for employees is key. Don’t make it overcomplicated, a small list should be enough.

15. Uncertainty With Growth

No one knows what the future holds as anything can happen. However, you can always prepare for the upcoming customer and market trends. Forward planning and having future goals mapped out is often overlooked. Plenty of companies fail in planning for these periods of uncertain growth.

A solution: Uncertainty is always going to be an issue in business. A good idea is to have short-term goals. Long-term goals should always be used to, aiming for a five to ten-year plan helps keep your business in control and on the right path.

16. Holding On To Top Talent

The more your business grows, the more you’ll be in need to top talent. Also, the fact your business is growing means you’ve got some fantastic talent in your own company. Retaining them can be difficult as bigger companies may offer them contracts at their place. You see huge companies like Google and Apple finding it hard to hold on to employees of their own.

A solution: Make your company a place people want to work and enjoy working there. Try to negotiate with employees if they’re offered a job elsewhere. If your staff find working for your company fun and they love what they do, you’ll increase retention rates. Ask your current employees of ways that you could improve the work environment to make them happier.

17. Cyber Risks

You see bigger companies are usually the ones that deal with hackers and are at risk of IT threats. Cybersecurity is an increasing issue many businesses face and with growth comes a more desirable place to attack. If you don’t have the correct security for cyber attacks, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to losing data that is valuable to your business.

A solution: Employing cyber protection to each aspect of the business is strongly recommended. Training employees to be aware of potential cyber risks and having cybersecurity frameworks in place is a good approach to covering your valuable information. There are plenty of professionals out there that can help, many of who have been on the opposite side and been the ones hacking.

18. New Departments

New growth to your company can mean new departments need to be created to manage new demands. Sometimes it can be scary to expand and it is important to weigh up if you’re ready for expansion. Next, you have to decide on whether you hire from your current employee pool, or outsource for people outside your team.

A solution: Speak to your current team and advise them of the possibility of new roles. Get their feedback and see if anyone would like the challenge of a new role. Go over the new department with them and advise them of the requirements they’ll be facing. Some may not fancy the challenge whereas others would relish the opportunity.