What should entrepreneurs do if their business grows too fast?
Almost every new entrepreneur is told time and time again to be realistic and cautious with their early forecasting.
However, if a business takes off quickly, not being able to meet the demand can be just as detrimental as a lack of interest. Not only does it put pressure on the business to scale fast, but handling the customer service aspects of running out of stock or delays in delivery can be a tricky balancing act.
In an interview with the Financial Post, SmartSweets founder Tara Bosch described how the early demand for her sugar-free candy prevented her from keeping up. “The inventory and supplier side took time to catch up,” Bosch admitted. “That was my largest pain point.”
Though it is still important to have realistic forecasts in your business plan, planning on how to handle high demand early on is something most entrepreneurs don’t think about at first.
Developing strong partnerships with manufacturers is a critical first step in preparing to scale. If businesses still run into troubles meeting demand, use it as an opportunity to turn it into a good PR story and build even more excitement for the product – pending you have a plan in place on how to meet it.
For example, many organizations utilize social media to build hype around in-demand products by expressing gratitude for those who have purchased the product (i.e. “Wow! We are blown away by everyone’s excitement for XYZ.”), followed with a call-to-action to not miss out (i.e. “Find out why everyone is jumping to try XYZ and get on the waiting list for the next release”).
Most of all, ensure your customer service team is enthusiastic and motivated to help turn those early adopters into life-long customers.