It’s every entrepreneurs dream to have a high growth company, but it’s often a blessing and a curse. When infrastructure, systems, and supply aren’t dialed in, unexpected growth can be detrimental to your business. So it’s important to be prepared.
Joanna Parker successfully navigated an explosion of growth when she appeared on NBC’s Shark Tank to pitch her company, Yumble, for investment. She had a hand shake deal on the show, but the deal never came to fruition. But that hasn’t stopped Parker who runs the business with her husband and a small team. They have secured initial rounds of investment to get the company off the ground.
Yumble is a meal delivery service for toddlers and kids. Joanna recognized the need for busy parents who want to make healthy meals that their kids want to eat. After a post on Facebook went viral when she posted this idea, Parker realized she had a viable business idea on her hands. When the opportunity to come on Shark Tank presented itself, she obviously jumped at the chance.
With the added exposure to her company, Yumble saw a lot of growth and had to expand the team and offerings. Here are Joanna’s four tips on how to handle unexpected growth in your business, so that your business can thrive under these new conditions.
1. Develop Contingency Plans
“When Covid first hit, our immediate plan of action was to make sure all of our operations and supply chains were strong enough to accommodate what was about to come our way,” explains Parker. “We developed back up plans in case any of our systems had capacity limits. Thankfully we didn’t have to turn to these contingency plans but having them in place allowed us to focus on the other items on this list without worrying!”
2. Alert Your Vendors
“Alerting our vendors and stocking up on inventory was a priority. We’d seen before that growth can break an infrastructure so sturdying it up immediately was initiative number 1. We made sure our vendors were prepared for larger orders, revised projections, and tighter lead time windows,” says Parker.
Be sure to be in constant communication with any partners that are integral to creating or delivering your product. Get them in the conversation as early as possible, so that they can prepare on their end.
“Next was to make sure our team was supported properly. Given the nature of our business, hiring to our customer experience team was the most important. Because servicing our customers is the top priority we knew that we needed to bulk up our CX team, offering our customers more hours and more days to get in touch with the team,” notes Parker.
When your company sees unexpected growth, the natural consequence is that customers will have more questions and needs. Be sure to get your team bulked up to handle the communications coming your way.
4. Customer Transparency
“In this same vein as servicing our customers we made sure to communicate with our customers immediately – reassuring them that everything we were cooking and making was safe – was first and foremost on our communication list. And second was to be transparent with them that we were expecting a flood of new orders and that we would be in touch should there be any issues with delivering,” suggests Parker.
Bring your existing customers along in growth journey. Keep them updated, ask for their feedback and address their needs as quickly as possible.