Business Agility: Tips for Excelling During Periods of Exponential Growth

By Dahna M. Chandler

As your business grows, it’s important to be like the nearly 92 percent of business owners who navigate change with high levels of agility. Accomplishing that puts you in rapid expansion mode and positions you for breakneck business growth.

Your customers and employees expect you to get everything right, and that includes tech upgrades, hiring, and office design. Expenditure levels are important, but it’s easy to maintain flexibility with furniture rental and technology leasing instead of making the costly mistake of cutting human capital or office space. Consider these tips to enhance your business agility and avoid serious missteps.

Refocus Your Strategic Plan

You must be open to change and smart about making those changes. Refocus your strategic plan to fit your growth-stage business. This could even involve reviewing your strategic plan with people outside your circle or who disagree with you. “Go outside your small business for different ideas from diverse people,” Nora Burns, SPHR, of HR Undercover in Denver, Colorado, says. “They’ll help you plan properly for business growth in all areas,” she adds.

Hire consultants or get help through area SBA programs like SCORE or a Small Business Development Center. Colleges and universities may also offer great strategic planning assistance.

Restructure & Automate Your Technology

In high growth mode, sticking with the easiest plan could hamper agility. Evaluate your technology to enhance your competitive advantages. Assess computer operating systems, apps, and hardware to decide which ones work best in rapid growth mode based on industry standards for your business type. For example, is Windows still best, or should you switch to Mac OSX or a Linux OS? The answer depends on the level of control, security, and privacy you want or need based on your clients.

Consider upgrading to enterprise-level cloud computing to go beyond storage to automation. Find software and services that facilitate remote work and collaboration as well as advanced accounting and operations like HR and customer management. Be sure to update desktop and mobile device hardware to work best with your new software, and keep security in mind throughout the tech renewal process.

Hire New Personnel

Investing in top human capital helped you get where you are, and you need more excellent employees to keep up the pace. Add the smartest, most qualified people to key areas, especially areas that affect your bottom line. When outsourcing, avoid the small business mistake Burns frequently sees: hiring independent contractors to reduce labor costs but treating them like employees. The businesses still control the work location, projects, hours, and work equipment of these “permalancers.”

“The IRS calls them employees,” says Burns. “Learn the over 20 strict rules the IRS uses to differentiate the two since violating them can lead to serious legal trouble,” she warns.

Make sure your recruitment strategies avoid all types of discrimination. “Don’t only hire from your church, synagogue, school alma maters, or social affinity club, where everyone is your ‘mini-me,'” Burns adds. Hiring people of different ages, ethnicities, religions, and other characteristics helps preclude discrimination. “Besides, hiring diverse people assures your customers see themselves reflected in your staff,” she concludes.

Assess Your Office Size, Layout, and Design

You may have outgrown your space or need to lay it out differently to accommodate growing staff and needs. “Expand or redesign with future business growth as well as current and future staff and clients in mind,” stresses Burns. “Big, open spaces are trendy, but not all your employees want to work in one,” she explains. “Even in a design or marketing firm full of creatives, it’s likely you have introverts on staff less comfortable in open layouts than extroverts,” Burns continues.

Furniture rental provides flexibility to create a comfortable, productive work environment for everyone. Make collaborative workspaces introvert-friendly with room dividers, bookshelves, file cabinets, and other movable, exchangeable privacy barriers. “Use color to enhance creativity and allow people to personalize their spaces, including through furniture rental,” says Burns. Remember to think about client needs when you expand or redesign. It’s important that your clients like what you do.

As your business continues to grow, your furniture needs could continue to change. Choose a furniture rental company that is fully equipped to make every change with you. Quick delivery and easy setup is always part of the plan with CORT Furniture Rental.