14 WAYS TO STRATEGICALLY SLOW DOWN MASSIVE BUSINESS GROWTH


1. Bring On People Who Know How To Do It Many problems with scaling are common, the most common of which is not having the right people in the right roles as the business grows. Often, the activities that put you on the growth path are different from what you need in the next phase of consolidating gains, and you need people with the skills and wisdom to navigate these, and future, transitions—and help you build for the long term. – Lisa Schmidt, Worksphere

2. Scale Down While Increasing Value Proposition

One strategy for companies to scale down strategically is for the service or product to be positioned as exclusive and hard to get. It cultivates the sense of exclusivity and invokes the fear of missing out. While preparing to scale up, the company aggregates data, builds momentum and develops relationships until the product or service is ready to launch. – Jennifer Helene, Purposeful Ventures, LLC

3. Build A Solid Foundation For Growth

Most companies build shallow and weak foundations that collapse when there is high or rapid growth. You can’t build a 10-20-30 building on a one-two-three-story foundation. Stop, evaluate your foundation, rebuild for high growth and then move forward with the growth. The four pillars of your foundation are four Ps: people, process, product, phinance (finance). And people always come first! – Jacob M. Engel, Yeda LLC

4. Increase Prices Or Reduce Spaces Offered

I have seen this happen to many coaches when launching a program, perhaps at the wrong price point. They become busy fools. By increasing your price point and the number of clients you can work with, you become more exclusive and the workload becomes much more manageable. – Rebecca Patterson, Rebecca Patterson

5. Pause, Assess And Strengthen

When companies experience a rapid growth phase, it’s important to take a pause to thoughtfully ponder these questions. Are we still aligned with our mission and vision? Operationally, what’s working and what isn’t? Where do we need to invest our resources? What gaps exist in our human capital? Which systems, processes and people need to be strengthened to prepare for future sustainable growth? – Emily Rogers, Emily Rogers Consulting + Coaching

6. Don’t Put The Cart Before The Horse

Studies suggest fast-growing companies often perform worse than slow-growing companies. When the cart goes before the horse, cash flow can take a dive. This is when operations must step up and focus on fewer products or services and/or fewer territories or markets. Also, to improve cash flow, stretch time for payables and accelerate time for receivables. Scaling down growth conserves precious cash. – Rick Itzkowich, Vistage Chair San Diego

7. Focus On Your People

Growing too fast can also burn out your people. One strategic thought is to build a pipeline of talent so you can quickly adapt. Keep your existing talent engaged and inspired; communicate the vision, goals and expectations often; focus on leadership trust and allow for innovative thinking and action. The only constant is change. Give your team time to learn so they can grow with the business. – Denise Russo, SAP

8. Hire Virtual Assistants And Part-Timers

If your business has grown too quickly and you need to scale back, find a way to utilize more virtual people. Whether they are freelance writers for copy, virtual assistants or even current staff that would prefer to move to a part-time role, you can maximize your scale-back without losing productivity. – Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience

9. Build In A ‘Go, No Go Spigot’

When you have an abundant pipeline of qualified leads driving growth, get hyperfocused on your actual production capacity and cash requirements to establish an informed “go, no go spigot.” Pace how much business you allow to move into production, with delay or pause on contracts as needed to sustain growth without employee burnout or risking compromised quality. – Dodie Jacobi, Dodiodo Inc.

10. Focus On Sustainability And Pruning

Growth for growth’s sake is one of the most dangerous mentalities in organizations and societies. Unfortunately, we tend to set up reward structures to promote continual growth at all costs. However, any growth, if not done is a sustainable way, will ultimately result in negative outcomes. We must be disciplined, constantly prune our various initiatives, and focus on what adds the most value. – Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC

11. Learn How To Respond To The Market

Did you get hooked on the “too fast, too furious” style? There might be accidents due to speeding if you don’t know how to respond instead of reacting. Responding to the market is aligning new commitments with your foundations. Reacting is based on wishful thinking or fear. Establish what your base is (Customers? Company culture? Employees?) and regard it as an acid test for new decisions. – Inga Bielińska, Inga Arianna Bielinska Coaching Consulting Mentoring

12. Evolve Your Business Processes Constantly

All too often, businesses with a really innovative or successful approach grow really quickly. The problem is that the way you did things when you started seldom scales to growth. If you are in a fast-growing business, examine and evolve your business processes at least every year or more frequently. Otherwise, quality and service will soon suffer. – John Knotts, Crosscutter Enterprises

13. Focus On Your Best Product Or Service

The need to scale down may come from adding products and services that actually dilute your initial idea. Revisit the company vision, get feedback from the whole team and decide collectively which items to drop or pause. Refocus on the organization’s vision and core product. Make that product even more attractive and streamlined. – Frances McIntosh, Intentional Coaching LLC

14. Adopt The APPLE Principle

I recommend the APPLE principle. Acknowledge there is a problem. Prioritize your product or services to only the ones that resonate with your customers. People should be redeployed into the remaining product and services. Logically create your new business strategy—be a Vulcan and keep emotion out of your strategy. Execute with focus on your new strategy and keep a check on how your people are doing with the new direction. – Kevin Kan, Break Out Consulting Asia