Top ten tips: How to cope with rapid growth
By Charlie Stott, Senior Strategist at Wolff Olins
Last week it was reported that Groupon, the daily deals provider, has generated so many customer complaints about how it markets its deals that it could face legal action unless it improves.
The same day, the portal put out a statement saying that rapid growth had been at the heart of its problems - its internal processes and procedures had struggled to keep pace with its expansion. This is certainly not the first time a brand has become a victim of its own success. In fact, rapid growth is a challenge that many companies — large or...
...small — have to navigate. So what can they do to avoid some of the common pitfalls? Here are ten principles for dealing well with rapid growth:
1. Get things wrong, but respond right. You will get things wrong at some point; the real question is how will you respond? Solve problems in partnership with all of your users and provide the social tools for them to cut you out of the problem-solving process. For instance when Skype crashed in December 2010 the CEO took personal responsibility, went on social media and engaged 100 million users in developing work-arounds and fixes.
2. Do what's right by your customer - if not you threaten your future. Think of your business from the customer’s perspective with a clear set of principles to live by. This, not profit, should be your primary filter for what you do and don't do.
3. Decide what makes you special. Acknowledge what's remarkable (and relevant) about your organisation from customers', investors' and employees' perspectives. Plan what it could be in the next quarter, and the quarter after that...and as part of this decide what you are going to suck at: nobody is world class at everything.
4. Start planning change. Create a wish... continued on page two >