“If your company isn’t growing, it’s dying” (Old business adage)
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had conversations with several of my Virtual CFO clients about the growth of their businesses. One of the main topics of discussion has been how to maintain the culture of the business while adding staff to meet the demand caused by growth. In most cases, the culture of the organization is the reason the company is experiencing growth. This is why you have to be sensitive to your firm’s culture during its growth.
To me, this dilemma isn’t just theory, but rather circumstances I have faced at both of the entrepreneurial businesses I’ve owned.
In the 1990’s, I owned a logistics company that experienced substantial growth in its first year of operations. As a result, I made the decision to add staff and train them how perform all the functions I performed, including customer facing activities such as sales and customer service.
Now I am faced with the growth of my public accounting firm, CPA for Small Business, LLC. Last year, my company’s revenue was more than double that of the year before. As a result, I am on the cusp of not being able to personally handle all the work in need to perform for clients. I know I will have to add staff if I want my business to continue to grow.
As opposed to the staffing choices I made for my logistics company, I decided to add staff that will perform the functional level work at my public accounting firm and I will continue to handle the customer facing activities as well as high-level work such as reviewing and signing off on tax returns.
The growth staffing strategy scenarios I described above demonstrate the two basic choices that you, as a small business owner, have for staffing growth. They are:
- Add customer facing staff who will carry out duties similar to those you, as the business owner, perform; or
- Add functional level staff and continue performing the customer facing activities yourself.
Over the next few blog posts, I’ll address these two choices and discuss my experience with each. I’ll also talk about problems that can result from each of these choices as well as what can be done to successfully implement them.
Hopefully, after reading this blog series you will be able to choose the best alternative for staffing your businesses growth and while at the same time maintaining the culture that made the growth possible.At the end of the day, deciding how to staff your company’s growth is a good dilemma to have.