Some business experts believe if you don’t grow you will go backwards. Your definition of growth might be slower, faster, bigger or smaller than comparable companies but its OK because it defines how you feel . However, there is no magic formula or MPH for optimum growth. In most cases it offers more opportunities for employees to advance; you can offer customers more services and products and you eventually can work “on” your business rather than “in” your business. Customers know what to expect because you have procedures to meet and exceed their expectations.
There are really no downsides to growth but it may require more risk and an operating style than you are comfortable with. For example, the sole proprietor may limit risk by “going it alone” longer than the growth minded owner. He or she may avoid bank debt or outside investors and sacrifice faster growth in the process. Whatever your choice, it should always be based on what you want but with knowledge of the ramifications of your choice. If you choose a more growth type business, be ready to:
- Use outside investors
- Have a credit line or permanent financing
- Invest in people
- Share operating control
- Ride the waves of economic change
Granted, all types of businesses need some of these steps but the more growth oriented businesses will need more. There is no certain timetable for growth and it may be best to start slow. A business plan is not a fixed document and needs to be reviewed and adjusted. Its the same with growth plans. Do what feels best and enjoy the ride.
As always, your comments are welcome!
Bob Barkett, BarkettConsulting.com