small Business Growth

Growing Up Doesn't Have to be Painful

Posted by Stacey Papp

It’s not uncommon for small business owners to “hit a wall” when it comes to growing their companies. Most are wearing several hats and have a hard time delegating critical responsibilities to their employees. It’s so easy to get stuck in “reactive mode” and simply run around putting out fires all day. After all, that’s what keeps the business going. Right? Maybe if you just hire more people and buy more vehicles you can get back to what you really SHOULD be doing which is maintaining the strategic focus and vision of your business. Funny thing is, you’ve done that before… yet nothing has changed. Why does it seem like you can’t get out of the “growing pains” stage? 

It turns out, you are both the problem and the solution. Huh? It sounds weird, but it’s true! Think about it…let’s go back to the very beginning. Remember when you built this company? You were making all the decisions, doing all the work, had all the answers, and had a clear vision. It all worked because you had all the facts! Your business is “stuck in neutral” because there just isn’t enough of “you” to go around and quite frankly, when you’re stuck in “reactive mode” you aren’t the same “you” that you were when you got this company off of the ground. That “you” was a visionary. 

So, ask yourself a few questions. 

  • Do you know where your drivers are at all times? 
  • Can you tell what jobs are being done and how timely they are completed? 
  • Are customer service time frames acceptable to both you and your customers (and how do you know)? 
  • How quickly can you dispatch the right driver to the right job? 
  • Do you need to hire someone to serve your expanding customer base? 

If those questions sound familiar and have a knack for keeping you up at night, it may be time to do some business-related soul searching to learn what solutions and processes can help you do more growing and less reacting. Besides, it’s time to get back to being the visionary you are! Growing your company doesn’t have to be painful. The reality is, you just can’t do it all and that’s OK. Besides, your employees don’t need you to fire fight, they just need you to tell them where the fire is!

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About the Writer: Justin Waite is a 2008 graduate of Youngstown State University and has worked at Fleetmatics for over six years. He currently serves as the Manager of our Strategic Account Services Team in Solon, Ohio. Follow Justin Waite on LinkedIn.

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