Slo Ru

About growing fast


A lot of founders or CEO’s, especially if their companies raised some funds from investment capital, think day and night about the pace of growth of their businesses. They don’t sleep well after reading the articles about Uber which is growing faster than anybody has done before. They want their businesses to grow even faster. And their investors call them everyday to make sure that they didn’t forget about the rapid growth. Growth, growth, growth.

Let’s look at Twitter or Evernote. Some time ago these companies were so-called “unicorns”, or rapidly growing businesses with extremely high potential. Both of them were very attractive both for gifted professionals and investors. Both of them had been expected to have a successful future. But now Twitter is facing a lot of strategic difficulties (not to mention that the company has never been profitable). For instance, some time ago the Business Insider reported that “Twitter is opening its wallet, doling out cash and more stock, to keep employees from heading for the door”. And Evernote was called “the First Dead Unicorn” by famed Silicon Valley investor Bill Gurley.

What’s the problem with fast growth? Maybe it is just too difficult to show impressive results every quarter? Maybe it is hard psychologically to do your everyday routine when everybody is expecting too much of you? Maybe it is just hard to find enough money to keep the highest pace of scaling your business?

Maybe. But I guess that there are also different reasons.

When we are growing up as children it is very important for our bones and muscles to grow synchronously. If our muscles grow faster than our bones they become too heavy for our skeleton which may cause some problems.

The same things are important in business. If your company has got enough money from investors you may open offices in distant countries or develop a lot of products simultaneously. You may hire a lot of professionals and buy a lot of machines for your factories. But business in not only a matter of scale, it is also a matter of efficiency, and a matter of productivity.

Typically every group of seven employees needs a boss (a supervisor, chief, team-leader – it doesn’t matter). They need a person who will set their goals and solve all their problems during the course of achieving them. Of course, all of us have heard a lot about “flat organization’, operating completely (or almost) without bosses, but these ideas do not always work and not everywhere. If there are about a thousand people in your company it means you need more than 140 bosses (and each group of 7 bosses also needs a boss).

If your company is large it’s revenue is significant and it’s financial structure is sophisticated – so you need a skilled CFO and a good financial team to manage this matter. Even if your company is just a very popular web-site you need not only creative programmers but you also need engineers, marketers, designers and HR generalists. Somebody has to fix your server’s problems, to keep your offices clean and comfortable, to keep an eye on your loans and bank accounts, to answer the calls from your customers, to translate your interface into different languages and so on. Somebody has to code and somebody has to organize the process of coding, to make it not only creative but also productive.

Facebook is not only Zuckerberg but also Sheryl Kara Sandberg (a COO of the company). Google is not only Brin and Page, it is also Sundar Pichai. Brin and Page didn’t want to be CEOs to not remain creative, not to sink into operational routine. It is considered to be a wise decision, but when Pichai tells them something about operations they understand him very well.

It is said sometimes that progressive companies need “evangelists” – people (typically founders) who believe in ideas the company is based on, and who are able to impassion the employees. People who can make their staff believe that they making the world a better place to live. Of course every company needs an “evangelist” but they also need Chief Operation Officers who keep an eye on the bottom line.

Your ideas are your muscles, they make your company stronger. But your ideas shouldn’t grow faster than your “bones” – the structure, the framework of your company. You need not only gifted, creative employees to improve your ideas, you also need somebody to organize the stuff.

If you are a founder of a small startup you also can be a CEO. But if your company is large and especially if it is growing fast you need somebody experienced in operation. If you are not – hire a professional. Too many great ideas have died just because of bad performance.

And if your company isn’t ready to grow, just stop for some time. Let your bones develop, even if you see great opportunities. Some years ago I almost lost my business just because we tried to do everything at the same time – to launch a new product line, to improve our production facility, to open subsidiaries and to develop new distribution channels. We hired too many new employees, we started too many projects simultaneously and invested more money than we had. The only reason was that we were trying to grow too fast. Be careful.

If your business needs qualified help, contact us and we will find the necessary solution

or read other cases above

Our cases

Enter new markets and launch new products

Sometimes any company, whatever successful it is, understands that it has reached the borders of it’s customary market. The company has already reached out all the customers – at least the important and lucrative ones, and it is high time to move further.


Sometimes is happens when the borders of the market, on the opposite, moves quickly towards you. It happens when your market shrinks because of any economical reason or when your product simply becomes outdated.


Whatever the reasons, you have to find a new market for your product. Or a new product for your market. Or a new product for a new market. Or everything mentioned simultaneously.


But entering a new market – launching a subsidiary in another country or simply exporting your goods abroad, trying to attract new social groups of customers, searching for new distribution channels, – may be rather risky. Especially if you have to modify your product at the same time.


KVAN Consulting helps make it easier.


We can:


– Provide a market research for your company. Is a new market really that attractive and perspective for you? What does your company need to enter it? We may collect information of that kind in the former USSR countries and Eastern Europe.


– Provide a customer research. What do new customers what from your product? What are their needs and expectations? What should you do (for instance, how should you modify your product or to promote it) to match them? To be successful on the new market?


– Provide a deep analysis of the strengths and the weaknesses of your company. Is your company ready for new challenges? What (and when) do you have to change in your business model, in your strategic approach, in your IT system, your business processes etc. to carry out your plans on entering new market?


We also may:


  1. Create a “road map” – a step-by-step plan on how to transform your business in order to meet new challenges.
  2. Establish a new business strategy, including vision, mission, objectives and elaborated plan on how to reach them.


KVAN consulting – an easy way to new markets!
Entering the markets of former Soviet Republics

Task: Define the best way to entering the markets of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. To establish the effective strategy of development in those countries and implement it.

Solution: The broad market research that was conducted let us find perspective market niches in those countries, in which the company could have been successful and could have got the competitive advantages. The products were updated to meet the expectations of local consumers – the price and the usefulness were adjusted. As a result, the market share of the product grew up to 25% and it is being successfully sold for more than two years at the moment. Read the case