Over the years the Oasis team has been able to support many fast-growing companies and seen a myriad of challenges that these companies face.
There are a variety of ways that companies that are accelerating typically run into challenges with their current systems that result in discussions with Oasis about the best way we can help them manage these challenges.
One of the most common themes we see amongst fast-growing companies is organic growth. They’ve entered into a market and have found success. This could be in a new market where their product or service offering has disrupted the market or offered a degree of innovation and now they’re driving new sales at a rate that has caused their revenue to double, triple, or even quadruple within a 12 -24 month period.
That being said, with mo' money comes… mo' problems.
This can be in the form of increasing employee headcount, particularly in the sales/customer service roles. Often organic growth isn’t entirely driven by inbound demand and these organizations are investing in new sales talent and/or more customer service and administrative personnel to manage their increase in customers.
When hiring and creating a salesforce and sales leadership, now more than ever before, these new employees expect a robust customer relationship management tool with mobile, global access to their leads and activities, reminders, etc. This is common in helping to accommodate and meet the expectations of the modern salesforce.
Sales management and leadership are also accustomed to having data at their fingertips to better manage, coach and track their key performance indicators. These include defining metrics and holding their staff accountable to generating the amount of activity required to drive qualified opportunities, proposals and orders and produce pipeline reports that they can share with their leadership teams so that they can make data-driven decisions to drive the company forward as they grow.
It's important to note that with more people, comes more churn and having visibility into the sales process and pipeline makes it’s much easier for a new salesperson to come in and pick up where the previous staff member left off.
Along with more sales, the fulfillment side of the growth organization also runs into challenges that could be new to the organization.
If it’s a product driven business than data-driven purchasing and traceability into inventory levels, churn, and the costs of good sold are all going to be data points that a fast-growth company may still be tracking manually in Excel which can be time-consuming, error-prone and stale as soon as they’re produced. There’s also no collaboration with the data and what should be leading indicators are actually lagging.
Another area in fulfillment that fast-growing companies have a difficult time improving as their growing and running their business is in their ability to create and document proper processes and controls for critical operations like purchasing.
The need to create separation of duties between departments and create purchase orders and approval processes to improve visibility and limit impacts to cash flow are critical but difficult to implement in a fast-growth environment with so much swirling around at once.
Systematic approval processes are also critical for best practices and separation of duties in the accounting & finance departments. When your small and there's only one person or a handful of people - most likely the entrepreneur - approving purchases and cutting and signing checks, there’s not a lot of challenges to overcome other than forgetfulness.
But when an organization starts to grow, systems are vital to ensure proper processes are documented and easy to follow. Unfortunately, we’ve seen fraud and embezzlement in organizations that grew quickly and left the trust of these processes to home-based accounting systems like Quickbooks that offer very little controls and almost no audit capabilities.
Of course, AR is another process that can make or break a company that's growing exponentially. Luckily for a growth company, the challenge isn’t typically selling but being left too far out on a limb with little to no automation to understand how much cash is outstanding or where the balance sheet is being impacted can really stunt the trajectory of a fast-growth company.
And if growth requires a large customer acquisition cost then getting loans from outside equity, whether that’s individual investment, financial institutions or venture, being able to swiftly close the books and produce timely and accurate financial statements are going to be non-starters for these investors.
Oasis has the experience and expertise of assisting hundreds and hundreds of fast-growing companies focus on building best practices across their entire operations from sales to fulfillment to purchasing and receivables.
We can quickly determine how to improve processes to increase control and visibility and put the right business management system in place to ensure better cash flow and less risk. As a fast-growing company ourselves, we want to see your fast-growing organization thrive and have the right systems in place to accelerate your growth and not stunt it.
The first step in doing this is a thorough review of the current processes you have in place. You can learn more about the first step in the journey to streamlining your business processes to handle the rapid growth of your company here: Unlock Your Company's Full Potential With the Oasis Analysis