I regularly visit builders’ merchants and many are growing their businesses incredibly well.

Conditions are ripe for growth too. The latest BMBI figures show sales increasing year on year for seven consecutive months, with two product categories posting record revenues. There is little doubt, however, that business growth is hard on a business—and stressful.

As part of our global growth survey, Epicor has looked in more detail at the realities of business growth. By surveying over 2,000 business professionals across the world, we found that while one-in-three business professionals find growth rewarding, two-in-five actually find it challenging, one-in-five finds it stressful, and one-in-ten even finds it painful.

The realities of growth are more complex than they may at first seem, with stresses and challenges playing a significant role in employee experiences as the businesses they work for develop. Stress may be a by-product of growth, but merchant businesses want to grow. What can they do to help make the journey easier?

Across the board there is widespread recognition that implementing better technology is key to a business’s ability to cope with the stresses and challenges presented by growth. Making use of the latest technology can help businesses work more efficiently, and help them expand into new geographies, without having to make huge investments in staff and facilities.

Intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, such as Epicor BisTrack, are helping merchants to bridge the top floor with the shop floor. By doing this, ERP systems allow for better data flow–for example between sales teams, the warehouse, trade counters and customers–as well as automating otherwise manual tasks to cut time to market.

The most successful high growth organisations are those that have flexible ERP systems, such as BisTrack, and are able to constantly adapt to new and better business models, and are able to bring their staff on board with changes along the way.

Nick Hull is Customer Account Manager for BisTrack Epicor