We all want to see our businesses grow quickly; that’s why we are always working to improve our leadership and strengthen our systems and strategies. But…what happens when growth comes very rapidly? What challenges do we face when we’re struggling just to keep up with our ever-scaling businesses? Learning how to manage rapid business growth can be just as challenging as learning how to accelerate your organization’s growth.
This week’s guest on the Elite Entrepreneurs podcast is Rob Volpe, founder and CEO of consumer insight and strategy firm Ignite 360. And Rob knows something about rapid growth, having taken his business from its founding to seven figures in revenue in just half a year. Such rapid growth brings its own set of unique challenges that business owners must face…often without the luxury of time spent learning to navigate these challenges.
Recognizing and Addressing Challenges
Rob set out to build Ignite 360 as its own creature, so that it could stand on its own feet even if he eventually decides to exit. However, during Ignite 360’s remarkable early success, Rob struggled with becoming emotionally attached to P&L statements and other metrics, and he had to learn to recognize that, in his words, “it’s finances, not feelings.” He also had to make the important realization that taking on too much work too quickly would negatively impact his team’s productivity and his clients’ satisfaction. Sometimes, as difficult as it is, it’s better to say no to new work.
As Rob explained during our conversation, it’s very important to chart a path forward and have a plan, but it’s also equally important to be prepared to pivot and adapt to changes and challenges. As we’ve all learned with the outbreak of the global pandemic, the unexpected can happen at any moment and derail your best-laid plans. Setting goals can be a powerful motivator, but it’s important not to become blinded in your pursuit of those goals.
How to Manage Rapid Business Growth
As the business owner, eventually you’ll reach a point where you can’t do everything yourself. As Rob shared, it became necessary for him to begin hiring for his weaknesses so that he could instead focus on his strengths. Bringing in a dedicated COO to help lead the organization and to handle some of the responsibilities Rob feels less passionate about has allowed him to focus on the things he does best.
By growing his team and hiring for his weaknesses, Rob has learned how to manage rapid business growth effectively and has been able to ensure that Ignite 360 will continue to scale into a successful future. And by only taking on right-fit work and clients, Rob has been able to ensure that his personal growth as a leader has been able to keep pace with the growth of his organization.