You’re likely familiar with the tortoise and the hare, but there’s a good chance that you haven’t considered this ancient parable as a business growth analogy. The marketplace is chock full of ambitious and hungry hares just itching to be let off the chain and prove themselves to the world. The hares in business propel themselves towards growth with only the dollar bill shaped finish line in their sites. As such, they can fail to scale their businesses upwards to accommodate or sustain that growth and could end up tripping over their feet… Or paws.
It’s in the nature of entrepreneurs to feel that they should be doing more, working harder or making more money. Plus, we’ve been conditioned by society to believe that bigger is always better. Yet, there are a number of compelling arguments for keeping your small business small…
Your business relies on a personal touch
There’s a reason why in an era where huge multinational brands are able to deliver reliable service and cheaper prices, consumers still choose smaller local businesses over the corporate titans. It’s been proven that people are happy to pay more if they perceive extra value in a transaction. Thus, your customers choose you because they value the personal touch that you bring to your transactions time after time. Would you still be able to offer this if you fast tracked your business’ growth?
Growth can be disruptive and expensive
Growth needs to be scalable to a business’ existing infrastructure, otherwise businesses can find themselves floundering if they find themselves experiencing a spurt of growth for which they have not adequately planned. Everything from your employee training to your IT Support needs to be carefully primed for growth. This can be disruptive and time consuming. Instead, your IT support provider should be geared towards ensuring that your business is as productive as possible to ensure that your customers get the best from your business.
Agility matters in a changing market
The world and the business landscape are changing at an exponential rate. In the face of increasingly frequent and widespread technological innovations, businesses need to be agile and able to keep up with the demands of their target markets. While small businesses are able to do this fairly easily, larger businesses are more encumbered by bureaucracy and logistics that can make adapting to changes in their chosen markets slower and more laborious. Just look at what happened to Blockbuster video!
Work / life balance is hard to come by for entrepreneurs
As wonderful as it is that you’ve shrugged off the 9 to 5 rat race and taken your career and your livelihood into your own hands by going into business for yourself, it’s likely that you’ve fought long and hard to attain something resembling a work / life balance. All entrepreneurs struggle in meeting their commitments to their families and friends while still ensuring that they honor their commitment to their business.
It’s taken you a long time to achieve this balance, and propelling yourself into growing your enterprise could well result in additional hours spent away from home at the expense of your family relationships.
*This is a contributed post