The success of Fred IT, a supplier of IT solutions for the pharmacy sector, has brought it to the tipping-point where mid-size becomes large. But as Paul Naismith, co-founder and CEO explains, the positive forces driving Fred forward come with a new set of challenges to overcome.
More details on how to overcome the challenges associated with the growth of a successful mid-size business are in our article and interview with Paul Naismith At the mid-size tipping point.
Want more information on what fast growing mid-size businesses do differently? Click here to read our Growth Engines report.
One-size-fits-all rarely works at scale
Products, services, sales, marketing and strategy all need to be customised to new markets. This requires investment, new skills, new ways of thinking and often a new structure. As Fred illustrates, no matter how hard you try to keep it simple, leaders need to fully accept an overall increase in business complexity.
Pumping one tyre, deflates another
Expanding into new customer markets becomes a priority when approaching the growth limits of existing target markets. But in chasing new customers, businesses can often neglect or alienate the customers that keep the lights on. Fred has been very conscious of this risk. As a result, they have protected their independent customer base while building their corporate client list.
Same person, different hairstyle
Scaling-up will always change your business culture but leaders have to actively shape the evolution. It is analogous to growing from teenager to young adult. Will you reinvent yourself as you mature? How much of your core identity will remain the same? It makes sense to think about the DNA of your business, about what really matters. For Fred, and many growing mid-size companies, agility, innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit are key things to preserve.