Running a business is a life long journey. There is always something new to learn, much like a baby learning to crawl, walk and then run. That is why I believe that it’s better to focus on getting better at what you do rather than growing aggressively when there are a lot of things that need to be improved on.
Once you improve on your product, service delivery and your management capabilities, growth is inevitable. It is a fact that businesses have to grow to remain viable. In fact growth is necessary in business. It is the rate of growth that can be damaging.
A lot of businesses owners are impatient for growth and unknowingly exchange long-term profits for short-term growth. Remember that, a growing business is not always a profitable business. When a business is growing it consumes a lot of cash rather than making it. This is why most supposed fast growth businesses are at the mercy of everybody that can provide the funding – from investors to bank managers and suppliers.
I strongly believe that the best growth strategy is a slow growth strategy! I know this may seem contrary to advice tooted by other business advisers, but there are many examples that show that businesses that control their growth outperform and outlive their fast growth counterparts.
In today’s fast paced culture, everybody is in a hurry to grow. Therefore it is even more important that you slow down and reflect on your business with the aim of closing any capability gaps that may hinder future progress.
If you are a business owner who believes that your business is ready for growth then I advise you to take a step back and ask yourself:
- Can you afford growth at this point?
- Do you have the right people in place for growth?
- Are your systems ready for the level of activity and transactions that growth brings?
- Can you keep up with the growth?
If you answer yes to all these questions, then go ahead start growing your business aggressively. If you answered no then take your time to put the necessary systems in place for your future growth plans. Remember fast growth may well be your fastest way to die in business!