Business Growth – is it always a good thing?
Business growth is the ultimate goal of any entrepreneur. If you can grow your business either domestically or, if it makes sense for the products and services you sell, internationally, then you have made it. Or at least, this is how many people think about business growth, and it is true for many companies; they have built themselves up, started to look further afield, learned how to advertise in China or Europe or wherever they want to launch next and have done very well from it all.
Yet that isn’t always the case, and before you start to grow your business, you will need to take a wide range of different considerations into account. Growth is good, of course, but growing too quickly, growing in the wrong direction, or growing before you’re ready can all spell disaster for what would otherwise be a promising business.
Thousands of companies destroy themselves each year by racing ahead and trying to grow fast when the market or their CEO’s own experience says they should be doing anything but. There is an obsession within these businesses with making the most sales, building the biggest profits, driving up the numbers of visitors, and although these are all noble pursuits, they need to be done carefully. Rushing simply means that, even if you do have some short term success, you are more than likely going to suffer big, potentially devastating losses in the future.
Bragging rights about having a big business are not going to help you when that big business ultimately fails. Business growth is always about moving at a slow and steady pace, taking risks only when they are calculated ones. Doing anything else means that mistakes are going to happen.
Planning Is Paramount
So what can be done? In reality, as much as you might be excited about the next steps for your business, as much as you might feel you’re ready to move on, it is the planning that is the most important step. Without a plan in place, your business will have no chance to grow in the right way. The plan is a roadmap detailing just which direction to go in and when to make those turns. Working hard on this and then following it, adapting it if need be when things change – as they are apt to do in business – will help you much more than jumping in feet first to any kind of decision-making.
The plan itself should be assessed at least once a quarter. Business moves fast even when you’re not planning any significant growth, and if you fail to re-look at your plan regularly, you might find that the world has moved on and left you – and your plans – behind.
Maintain Customer Service
As we’ve said, business growth is good. It is essential, even, at least in sectors where change can toll the death knell for smaller operations. Yet every business owner needs to bear in mind that it is their customers who are the most important element of business growth, and it is their customers that need to be considered.
Moving too quickly, making too many changes all at once, can alienate a substantial number of core, loyal customers meaning that, all of a sudden, you could lose a large chunk of income. If that happens at the same time as you are trying to grow, you might find that your income dips to a point that becomes a bigger issue than you can deal with.
Take your customers’ needs into account at all times, and if that means moving more slowly, that’s what will need to be done.