How can growing businesses get past the 5 and 10 employee barriers?

According to Dr Alan Rae, the number of companies in the UK that go from employing fewer than 10 to more than 10 in a year is only about 1600.

The reason, he explains, is that each new person hired adds another layer of relationships. By the time you’re up to about 12 or 13 staff, people issues gobble up all the owners’ time. The result is senior management don’t have the time to think about strategy.

A growing business that wants to grow will need to resolve this issue early on, probably when it hits the 4-6 employee mark. This is the really point when you need to start formalising and documenting your systems, processes and procedures.

You don’t want to lose the agility that’s made the business successful, so how can you keep agile and formalise the business?

One approach is to document your processes and procedures in a way that’s as agile and nimble as your business:

  • Use  professional business writers (such as Cherryleaf) who can capture critical (but missing) information and improve existing content. You can use them to  take your “brain dumps”, talk to others, look at what documents exist, and turn that into information that communicates your message clearly and simply.
  • Use software that makes it straightforward to both get to the information that staff need and keep it up to date. There’s software you can use that costs as little as $10/year.
  • Embed the information into the systems that staff use, so it’s always to hand.

With measures like these in place, you’re more likely to have a scalable business with fewer growing pains.

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