Be prepared for these dangers of sudden success

Sudden growth in products sales may require you to take a loan to cover the cost of goods and fulfillment. Having a line of credit already lined up will help speed this process.

Sudden growth in product demand may require you to borrow funds to cover the increased cost of goods and fulfillment. Having a line of credit already lined up will help speed this process.

By Henry Brown

You want your business to grow, right? But have you really considered what growth really means for your business? Are you sure you’re prepared to deal with what will happen? The problem is that rapid growth spurts can actually put a lot of pressure on your business.

You need to ensure that you’re actually ready to take on all that extra business. Here are a few of the problems that businesses faced with sudden growth have to deal with. Make no mistake: if they’re not dealt with properly, it could do serious damage to your business.

Extra stress on your IT and communication infrastructure

Sudden success means that more and more people are visiting your website. And if your IT infrastructure can’t handle it, then this could spell trouble. If your website goes down, you could find yourself with downtime that could last days – losing you a lot of potential business. So you need to make sure your infrastructure is scalable. You also need to ensure that there are enough ways in which potential customers can contact you. The right IT consulting can help you prepare in both of these areas. Don’t underestimate the damage that is posed if you don’t pay enough attention to your technological infrastructure.

Too much demand

The clothes company American Giant was seeing slow but steady growth. Things were going well. But things were about to go a little too well. An article in Slate called American Giant hoodies the greatest hoodies of all time. (I say “article;” it was more like a love letter.) By the end of that week, demand for these hoodies had gone through the roof – at a rate that was way too fast for American Giant to keep up with. The danger they ran into here was that they were left with virtually zero stock for the Christmas season. Thankfully, they managed to survive and are still selling well to this day. But this sudden success actually got dangerously close to ruining the company.

An inability to take on more payments

When you’re a small business, you can often get away with having fewer payment options than other businesses. (Not that I wouldn’t recommend expanding on those options as soon as possible!) But when sudden success strikes, you’ll probably need to look into other payment methods. People may not just be coming to you with cash or regular credit cards anymore. They may want to use American Express. Or contactless card payments. Or even mobile payments. Consider expanding in this area to help deal with these demand.

Running out of funds

How do you keep up with demand? You have to buy more stock, of course. You also have to put more money into delivery fulfillment. In fact, with exposure to so many new people, you may also have to pump some more money into improved operations in general. The message here is clear: success costs money! And if you don’t have the suitable funds for the challenge, then you could be in real trouble. This is why you need to have a good amount of savings – or, at least, a good enough credit rating to get a loan.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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