Growing Pains – How to Manage an Expanding Workforce

It is widely accepted that a growing business is a healthy one. Generally, the more business generated, the more hands required on deck. This means increased operational and administrative staff to cope with the demand for a quality product, whether in the form of a service or product – this in turn introduces the need to provide those employees with timely, accurate payroll.

Whether you are utilising permanent staff, freelancers or independent consultants, each extra addition to your team will add to the demands placed upon your systems and administration staff. Scaling your business too quickly can result in a loss of control or disenfranchisement in many departments, conversely reining in a business which has momentum, can also be a tricky.

For this reason many small businesses choose to lay foundational business plans which forecast their growth and staffing needs well in advance. This allows them to gradually adapt their systems and administration requirements to stay in line with their financial predictions.

Embrace technology

As your business grows, chances are, so too will your wage bill. With increased business it can be tempting to become complacent about cash flow however increased invoicing doesn’t necessarily equate to more reliable cash flow. Look into upgrading your financial software to online, Cloud based invoicing and payroll software. Why? The faster you get your invoice out the faster you get paid and ensures you have adequate funds to cover staff wages.

Online financial software has many other advantages including those covered below.

Online payroll gives you and your staff:

● The ability to track HR and Payroll related aspects such as sick leave, overtime and leave loading

● Easy payment and tracking of staff superannuation, salary sacrifice or regular salary deductions such as HECS debt

● Access to mandatory salary and tax updates to ensure you are compliant with ATO regulations

Single Touch Payroll – reporting your payroll instantly to ATO. The Australian government has made STP reporting mandatory for all businesses. This not only streamlines many payroll processes, it also translates to no more end of year reporting and no payment summaries to employees at tax time!

Hiring

Discretional hiring is a crucial factor in successfully expanding your business. Staff who are flexible, open to training and are willing to learn and adopt new technologies and skills are a valuable addition. With increased workloads you may need to redefine job descriptions and remuneration to ensure you retain good employees.

The ethics, vision and culture of your business should be reflected in your team. Foster a collaborative culture in each new employee through team building exercises. While around 75% of employers rate collaboration and teamwork highly, many still don’t understand the basics of achieving it . Encourage learning, ambition and personal growth. Give employees scope to grow within the business rather than see it as a stepping-stone.

If your business is project based or cyclic then consider the advantages provided by freelancers. You often get ‘more bang for your buck’ from independent contractors, as you pay for only the hours you use. As business owners themselves, freelancers will usually have a home office and provide their own equipment, nullifying the need for increased office space or hardware such as computers, laptops and printers.

Retaining relationships and quality

As a small business it is likely that your customer service was more personal and relationship focussed. This may be one of the reasons why your business is now flourishing and it is vital that this is maintained during periods of growth. One way to preserve the goodwill between the customer and your business is through mentorship of new employees. A smooth handover should reassure clients that even though you may no longer be dealing directly with them, that you are still at the helm of the company and your ethics and brand remain the same.

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An expanding workplace is a great sign for your business’s long term prospects. Scaling growth to ensure that each step forges stronger platforms on which to build your business and putting in place the latest tools, equipment and software to enable your staff to do their job well, will place you in the ideal position to compete and flourish in your industry.

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Author: Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to editor.webposts@gmail.com.