Growth is good, right?

A business must plan for growth and manage resources effectively to handle increased business volume and the pressures on resources that brings.

Growth is good, right? And it’s easy for every company, right? Every employee loves it, right? Business management systems are robust enough to handle more volume, right?

Are your staff members experienced enough to handle hiring and managing more staff and the increased reporting required? And what about the requirements on cash to manage the growth?

Not everyone will be excited

A manager must realize that some employees don’t want more to do or more problems to handle. Staff members are not all just waiting for the next order and are likely not prepared for all the stresses put on them as the business grows.

I have seen team members cringe at the thought of more responsibilities. When two of my companies were preparing for IPOs, I can recall the glazed look in their eyes when the scrutiny that comes with being a public company was explained to them.

“We have to do what?” “We are expected to exceed quarterly target on a regular basis?” And the ever popular, “And we are disclosing compensation levels and details of compensation plans and equity ownership?” Shocking, isn’t it?

Mergers mean extra challenges, always

Merging with another company with synergies in products, markets and talent is not always met with enthusiasm, either. But a merger or acquisition is also a very likely situation a growing company must consider as a strong possibility. You either grow organically or by combining with another entity where the two are greater together than individually.

A typical situation in any merger is when the dominant company — and there always is one — insists that the combination will result in no loss of jobs or major changes in the daily responsibilities. That is almost always not going to be the situation.

I have been involved with more than a half dozen mergers, up close and personal, plus more from afar, and I can say for a fact that none of them were pulled off without a significant level of difficulty. None of them just let employees do what they were doing before the merger without the challenges of growth, or egos.

All of this becomes much more complicated with international growth. The challenges are multiplied tenfold with new cultures, business practices and language barriers. Risks of protecting a company’s intellectual property are greater and losing control and ownership of the technology will eventually jeopardize the core business.

Find the right help

This all sounds daunting and unmanageable for sure. But, if a company doesn’t think outside the box and plan for growth outside its comfort zone, competitors who will think that way will swamp them. There isn’t a better way to prepare for the pains of growth than to hire an executive team and core management who have “been there and done that” with the experience to manage the process.

After all, “The only source of knowledge is experience,” according to Albert Einstein.


John W. Manzetti is the managing director of Manzetti Group LLC. John formed Manzetti Group in 2017 to provide guidance to early-stage and growth companies across multiple industries. He co-founded JTM LLC, a company in the travel industry which is entering the market in April 2018 with a patented product. John is also the executive chairman of Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, and founder and managing director of Accelerator Fund LLC, an early-stage, for-profit venture capital fund focused on life sciences and health care.