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Growing a business

How you can maintain a small team with a growing business

Growth is a good thing in business. It means a company is meeting its customers’ pain points, the audience is growing, and revenue is growing, too.

But there are times when growth can feel like more of a hassle; when a small business owner and their employees feel stretched too thin, it’s hard to welcome growth with open arms.

However, there are many cases where you don’t need to reinvest all of your growing revenue back into hiring more staff members. On the contrary, there are multiple ways to maintain a lean, mean team while still managing a growing business.

If you’re struggling to keep your head on straight during a time of growth, take a deep breath and consider these three options to help you successfully manage growth without expanding your team.

1. Work with a strategic partner

Before you start looking for one-off software tools or farm out certain tasks, consider if you need targeted or comprehensive growth support. Are there specific areas your team can’t address, or are you collectively struggling to manage your growing workload on every front?

If you’re dealing with the latter, you may want to look for a strategic partner that is equipped to help you across the board. For larger, more ambitious startups, this is similar to applying to a business incubator like Y Combinator or 500 Startups, where you can develop your idea and help it grow.

In this case, you aren’t launching a brand; you’re just growing it. When that happens, working with an accelerator can give you a similar incubating experience. For example, Boomn is a direct-to-consumer e-commerce growth accelerator with a team and in-house resources that helps small businesses with matters from tailoring user experience to making the most of sponsored content.

Brands that offer a more holistic support are a great way for growing companies to tap into the power of a strategic partner. It gives them elite support “on tap,” even when they can’t afford to pay for a full white-glove service.

2. Target your outsourcing

If your growth is happening in specific areas, a more targeted outsourcing solution can help. For example, you could hire a freelance writer or contract with a graphic designer to take content creation needs off of your plate.

There are many ways to do this. If you have an occasional need, you can use a platform such as Upwork or Fiverr to pick up an occasional contractor. If your freelancing needs are recurring, you may want to ask for a referral or post an official job listing on LinkedIn or Indeed. That way, you can connect with a reputable professional that you can count on long term.

If you need to outsource an entire section of your business such as marketing or accounting, you can look for an agency to take on the entire responsibility. This allows smaller, growing companies to pass off invoicing, taxes, and other bookkeeping responsibilities so that they can focus on their own areas of expertise.

3. Use tech to fill in the gaps

Finally, never underestimate the power of technology to fill in growth gaps in your team. Tech can perform new tasks that your team isn’t qualified to do. For instance, a good SEO tool such as SurferSEO can help you find keywords and build high-quality content that will rank in Google’s search engine results pages.

Software can also accelerate processes when a qualified team member simply cannot handle their growing workload. A good example of this could be using ChatGPT to generate an outline to guide your writers in writing specific, nuanced content about your site.

Tech tools are a good way to keep your team organized, disciplined, and efficient. Workflow platforms such as Trello, Asana, and ClickUp can keep a team on the same page, regardless of whether they’re remote, hybrid, or in the office. Scheduling and meeting tools, including Google Calendar and Zoom make it easy to plan meetings and set reminders.

Scale to fit

From streamlining collaboration to executing your team’s growing workload, there’s no end to the number of inventive tools available that can help you manage your growth and stay productive. The best part is that many of these are impressively affordable, especially when compared to the cost of adding a new team member.

When a small business team finds itself managing a growing business, scaling its workforce can feel like an inevitability. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

From growth incubators to outsourcing solutions to tech tools, there are many ways to manage growth without hiring new personnel. This can keep your small business running in a smart and efficient manner—which is helpful at a time when economic stability is anything but certain.

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