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The top signs it’s time to grow

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

Seeing your business grow from small beginnings to dizzy new heights is exciting to say the least. However, without the talent to take on new tasks born from business growth, a sharp spike in success can be followed by a depressing downturn.

Naturally, the decision to grow your team can be daunting – particularly if it’s small in size. Having achieved success with your current workforce, you might be hesitant to throw someone new into the mix for fear that it will affect the particular formula that has brought you results in the past. Perhaps you’re happy to hire, but have historically found it hard to raise the capital to invest in more Employees.

If you’re uncertain as to whether now is the right time to expand, the following signs should give you a clear indication.

New business threatens existing commitments

Do new business leads fill you with dread rather than excitement? If you’re fortunate to find yourself in a situation in which you’re turning down work, it’s a sure-fire sign that you need more skilled workers to meet the demand.

Businesses that are growing rapidly build strong relationships with their existing customer base by offering a level of service generally not expected from their larger competitors. Though it’s easy to assume these relationships will always remain ‘sticky’, lowering your commitments to existing customers in the pursuit of new business is a dangerous game to play.

Bringing on additional resource is the most sensible course of action. Not only can you sustain the same level of service previously provided but business growth allows for company priorities and targets to shift towards loftier ambitions.

Overtime is the new 9-5

Anybody that has started or worked in a small business will know that overtime is commonplace in firms of this size. In truth, the romanticised image of ambitious entrepreneurs burning the midnight oil surrounded by skilled workers does not accurately reflect the damaging work habits that both founders and workers adopt in bringing a vision to life.

The reality is that because the digital transformation of the workplace has been so rapid, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep the work/life balance in equilibrium. Having a committed workforce is something all CEO’s dream of and preventing the burnout of key staff is essential to retention. Rather than risk losing your key allies, star players and hardest workers, you should consider taking on an extra pair of hands to lessen the heavy lifting.

Staff morale is taking a hit

A miserable workforce is an unproductive workforce, and an unproductive workforce rarely hits targets. In 2017 the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) released figures that revealed over 500,000 people in the UK suffered from anxiety, depression & work-related stress. Overtime and unrealistic expectations are two of the biggest offenders and can often be found throughout small to medium enterprises.

If you find yourself having to push your Employees out of their comfort zones and into roles that don’t fit their skillset, it’s worth considering hiring externally to fill these requirements. Skilled Employees can not only help with lessening the workload, but they can also pass down their experience and skillset to their fellow colleagues.

You can afford the extra help

Ask any small business owner whether they would like to expand their team and it’s unlikely you’ll get a negative response. Most start-up founders dream about the day their pockets are deep enough to afford more talent – yet, when that day comes, the reality can become laborious at best, and a nightmare at worst.

The recruitment process is rarely simple, and if you are expanding at a faster rate than before, the workload can start to build up. By choosing to work with a specialist recruitment consultant, you can have a professional to guide you past the pitfalls and towards a successful hire.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.

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