Is business growth always a good thing? Certainly, growth is often the aim of businesses, but rapid or unmanaged growth can actually be quite overwhelming. Whether it's filling all of those insurance jobs or managing a rapid inflow of clients, here's how to understand and manage growth that seems to be out of control.
Understand Why You Are Growing
When you see that you're growing quickly, the first question should be why. What is causing your rapid business growth? Is it a new location, a new marketing strategy, or a new insurance product? Are you reaching out to a market that was not connected to your business in the past? According to Entrepreneur, understanding your growth "means analyzing sales, assets, overheads, inventory, and receivables."
Consider The Values Behind Your Expansion
It's easy to forget about your values when rapid expansion is on the menu. If you find that the pace of your insurance business growth is outpacing your ability to manage, consider this. Why are you expanding in the first place?
As a business, you get to decide how quickly you want to expand. It's true that you don't want to turn people off with long wait times, but you also need to be realistic about how much business you can handle at one time. If your business is too busy but also not overly profitable, or if it's profitable but feels like it's on the verge of collapse, it could be that you have not made wise expansion decisions and you may even need to scale back. Know why you're increasing your capacity and make it a strategic move rather than a reactive one, and you can ensure that your growth is in accordance with your business values.
Look for Quality Business and Be a Quality Business
As you reevaluate what kind of business you want, make sure you're not just busy, but that you're actually making money. As Inc. states, you should "make sure you point your sales and marketing team in the right direction for profitable business." If you're run off your feet by phone calls about your latest free insurance workshop but you notice that you don't get a lot of customers from these workshops and they take a lot of time and energy to organize, evaluate whether that community impact might be better spent elsewhere. Consider which marketing investments and products bring you the higher-value and simpler customers, and choose to pursue those when you can.
On the flip side, you need to make sure that you are providing quality business as well. People will flock to a business that places emphasis on customer service. Don't lose that emphasis and focus only on growth instead.
Don't Hire Too Quickly
When you have a lot of open insurance jobs due to growth at your business, don't hire without enough thought. This could lead to you hiring a person who does not excel at customer service or at other aspects of the job at hand. Your business growth is fueled in part by who you have on your team, so make sure your team continues to be a stellar one. Consider whether you can shift current staff's responsibilities to meet new needs as well, so you have experienced employees leading the way.
Get Control Over Your Budget
Rapid growth can lead to serious problems in the future if you don't manage your finances well. For instance, if you're only experiencing temporary growth but you invest like it's permanent, you could end up with assets or positions that you don't need. Don't make large but hasty financial decisions in response to growth. Instead, make sure that you consider where those decisions will take you in the future.
At American Agents Alliance, we're here to help you manage your independent insurance business. Talk to us about your business needs. We have the membership benefits you require to help you meet those needs. Contact us today.