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6 Classic Ways to Crash Your Company (from Inc.com)

Jul 11Andrew Tucker
Totaled Car In Crash On The Roadside

There are many different ways to unknowingly hurt or sabotage you company. Following is an excerpt of an article by Kimberly Weisul from Inc.com (read the entire article).

Every fast-growth company eventually runs into at least one of these all-too-common obstacles. How you handle them can make the difference between success and high-speed smashup.

Some entrepreneurs just don’t know how to operate in first gear. When you’re traveling at a high level of growth, encountering an obstacle can be downright painful–and, in some cases, even fatal.

What kinds of obstacles do fast-growth companies encounter? Gary Kunkle, an economist and research fellow at the Edward Lowe Foundation’s Institute for Exceptional Growth Companies, has long wondered the same thing.  To get deeper inside what makes successful (and unsuccessful) businesses tick, Kunkle has constructed a vast database of some 45 million workplaces.  He has collected more than 250 data points on each of those companies and can sort them by more than 400 factors, such as industry, size, and location.

Kunkle recently completed a study of 4,000 fast-growing companies in Pennsylvania. (The survey was sponsored by the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, a nonprofit economic development agency.)  He surveyed 600 of them, visited their headquarters and held focus groups with their CEOs.  It soon became clear that these companies had more in common with one another than they did with industry peers or businesses of the same size.  In fact, these growth companies shared the same struggles, regardless of those factors.

We asked Kunkle to help us identify the challenges that all fast-growing businesses face.  They’re listed below, along with case studies showing how current Inc. 500 entrepreneurs managed to overcome them.  If you plan to join the Inc. 500, you can expect to encounter these traps, too.  The secret is not to let them slow you down.

1. Your Business Outgrows Its Staff
Scenario: The people who got you to $5 million aren’t the ones to get you to $50 million.

<Case Study:  Black Elk Energy>

2. You Wait Too Long to Hire
Scenario: Demand is surging. Where are the employees to handle it?

<Case Study:  FM Facility Maintenance>

3. Your Business Lacks the Right Systems
Scenario: Eventually, gut instincts won’t cut it.

<Case Study:  OtterBox>

4. You Run Out of Money
Scenario: Cash flow is always a concern–no matter how much cash you have.

<Case Study:  MicroTech>

5. You Can’t Keep Up With Demand
Scenario: When people want what you’re selling, you had better be able to provide it.

<Case Study:  Chobani Yogurt>

6. The Problem Is You
Scenario: As your company grows, you need to grow with it.

<Case Study:  Jessica Herrin (WeddingChannel and Stella & Dot)>

If your business is experiencing any of these scenarios, please contact me by e-mail at andrewtucker@b2bcfo.com or by phone at 704/651-2216.  I can help with many aspects of your business but the real value I bring to my clients is saving them time.  Time spent working on and stressing over your finances is time spent away from your customers and doing the things that made you want to get into this business to begin with.

Every Company, Regardless of Its Size, Needs CFO Services.  You can now afford them with B2B CFO®.

photo credit: _DSC0233 via photopin (license)

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