.st0{display:none;fill:#936037;} .st1{fill:#936037;} How to cope with the rapid growth of the company Read more

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Hi all! Kanareikin speaks! I am the founder of the St. Petersburg brand of leather accessories «Verf». Today I would like to tell you what difficulties we have faced and are facing during the period of rapid growth of the company.

Let’s start with the most important thing — people. Two problems are closely related to them: a painful reaction to adaptation to the development of the company and the lack of professional growth.

How to cope with the rapid growth of the company
The founder of «Shipyard» Vyacheslav Kanareikin

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Any company always starts with a small «garage» startup. At this moment, you know each of your employees, his date of birth and the kindergarten where his child goes, and when you meet, you ask how his wife or her husband is doing. Your relationship is getting too close.

When a company starts to grow, as it grows, the connection with these people becomes less and less, and you stop remembering new employees and even getting to know them. But those with whom you started out “demand” a different attitude towards themselves and are often not ready to put up with the new reality. Often such old men overestimate their contribution to the company and, despite the fact that their contribution was really valuable at the initial stage, the company cannot live in conditions of unrequited debt to them.

How to cope with the rapid growth of the company

On their part, jealousy for the company, founders, new colleagues begins. And this can have a detrimental effect on the atmosphere, because the opinion of the old people is obviously weighty. Fighting this is not easy and, to be honest, we do not always succeed, because we appreciate the contribution of these people to our cause.

Of course, you should try to talk alone with such valuable employees. But, unfortunately, our experience shows that the only solution in the interests of the company is parting.

Unwillingness to upgrade competencies

With the lack of professional development, the situation is no less acute. Employees who have been with the company from the very beginning want to «ride on the old rails». They are the ones who resist new standards and ways of working.

Those competencies that are needed at the start-up stage become less in demand, and often even harmful. For example, “multi-station”, when a person can cover a large number of diverse tasks. When a company gets bigger, it needs narrow specialists who are deeply immersed in their field of activity.

How to cope with the rapid growth of the company

And the universal, authoritative old-timer does not stand up to competition. Such an employee quickly becomes a sacred cow, which acts as a keeper of traditions, a favorite companion in a smoking room, a company at lunchtime.

But in addition to maintaining the atmosphere in the team, no one canceled their main duties. And, no matter how much one would not want to turn a blind eye to this, business simply has to sacrifice such sacred cows.


The second problem is the organization of work processes. When a company is small, any processes are tied to the interaction of two or three people. All questions can be resolved in a chat in a cart or VK. Company growth complicates everything.

An example from life. Previously, the release of a novelty was simple: Ilya and I decided what we were releasing, we ourselves organized a photo shoot and warned the only seller in the store. I uploaded photos to the site — and let’s go.

How to cope with the rapid growth of the company

Now the release of the novelty is a board in Trello for 24 cards (steps), in which 19 employees participate, who also have to inform other colleagues. Missed one step — you are anathematized. It is extremely difficult to build these processes without forgetting anything. Either you use successful cases on the market, but for this you need a carrier — an employee with similar expertise. Another option is to study. Reading or stuffing bumps. The alternative is to invent a bicycle and immediately learn how to manage it. Both are rarely painless.

Cost control and prioritization

The above two problems seem to me the most acute. But I would like to mention a couple more. Control over optional overheads. Often there are too many of them. With unreasonable financial planning, they can become an unbearable burden. Always keep an eye on your fixed costs: compare them with the previous period more often and keep them within the acceptable range for your company. In the case of Verf, this is 10% of the revenue.

How to cope with the rapid growth of the company

The growth of the company is inevitably accompanied by new tasks and projects. Their large number, together with ambition, can lead to defocusing: a situation in which you need to concentrate on one thing, but there is a desire to do everything at once.

Now we are facing two tasks — the development of offline retail (opening a store in Moscow) and entering the international market.

Both projects require a lot of resources, and there are always other important projects in parallel. Blog on vc, launch of e-mail newsletters. Our recommendation is to prioritize more clearly and focus on what you have identified as “most important”. Also, be sure to read Eliyahu Goldratt’s Critical Chain.

How to cope with the rapid growth of the company


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