You Have an Exit Plan, But What About a Growth Plan?

There are several metrics that small business owners can use to gauge their success, but growth has always been a strong indicator of how a small business is doing. Hiring has and always will be the strongest indicator of growth, which is in turn an indicator of success.


Regardless of automation and technology taking over roles in business, the addition of employees to a business adds the possibility of expansion and increased productivity. Demand for products and services are the number one factor driving small business owners to hire.

So many businesses have an exit plan. They know exactly what they will do if and when the time comes for their business to downsize or come to a finish. You would be hard pressed to find a business that was or is ready for the success or growth of their organization. A growth plan is something that small businesses overlook far too often. When supply rises, can you actually keep the promises that you’ve made? It isn’t as simple as hiring. You must find the right people at the right time to drive success. This is what makes a growth plan so necessary.

24% of small businesses are hiring full-time workers right now, and that is up 3% from last year. While supply and demand is the leading factor in hiring in small business, there are several reasons to get to hiring.

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved quality of products or services
  • Adding or expanding services
  • Competitive edge
  • Increased efficiency
  • Higher revenues
  • Sharing workload

Success, and transversely growth, can be just as scary as failure. As supply goes up, there is a need to hire more people and spend more money in order to be able to deliver on higher demands. This can mean expanding services, opening new locations or taking on more clients. Whatever growth means in your industry, are you ready for it?

Keep a finger on the pulse of your current workforce and their workload. Experts at Intuit suggest hiring once your company is working at 80% capacity. This is considered the crucial point at which productivity and efficiency can and will start to decline. Intuit supplies us with several helpful indictors that it is time to hire:

  • Employees are vocal about being overworked.
  • Employees claim to have insufficient time to spend on the completion of certain tasks.
  • There is a steady and/or significant increase in the demand for your company’s products or services.
  • There is opportunity for growth in your industry, but you don’t have the support to implement a move.
  • Revenue is consistently meeting and exceeding goals.

If you are a small business leader, please consider that a plan for success is just as important as a plan for failure or even maintenance. If all signs are pointing toward growth, you shouldn’t wait until it’s too late to make those hires. You can always transition employees, it is much harder to earn back a reputation for being able to supply and support in a timely and quality manner.

photo credit:
Jim Sneddon via