When a company is celebrated for its fast growth, what does that mean, exactly? Do we too often focus on how quickly a company can generate sales, but not look at whether that growth is sustainable, or even desirable? Starting tomorrow and running through the month of December, CRN.com will run a daily Fast Growth blog written by an executive at a CRN Fast Growth 2011 IT solution provider. Authors will reign from Ahead, NWN, IP Pathways, Sovereign Systems and Virtual Graffiti.
The point of these blogs is to illustrate the challenges growing companies face, and how they overcome them. In many cases, you'll find an unusual take on a situation. Other times, straight-forward common sense is the play of the day. All agree that growth without a plan leads to disaster. Leaving clients in the lurch because you're growing at such a clip that you have stretched your services too thin will drive your business under in no time. A solid foundation, along with appropriate supports in place — for example, adequate staffing, a healthy work ethic and a proper knowledge base — will bolster your company's revenue growth.
At the other end of the spectrum from companies who grow with abandon, are companies that could grow -- but won't. They are paralyzed by fear and uncertainty of the future. Taking on more vendors might offer more opportunities, but often it means more headaches as well. There's some truth to that, but successful companies have a plan. Fast Growth companies have a criteria for vendors, and those partners were brought on board because they answered business needs -- not because they offered a great a business lunch. When there's a bump in the road, revisit the criteria and see what's gone wrong.
Other worries plaguing certain IT solution providers: There's no guarantee that new products and services would even sell. And the number of potential job candidates available is at an all-time high -- choosing the best fit looks like an impossible chore. That kind of thinking leads to analysis paralysis, and Jane Lindor, managing director at NWN addresses that in our first blog, tomorrow.
If you have your own growth story, let me hear it by emailing me at