Everyone, from the Sunday papers to the people on your LinkedIn feed, seems obsessed with business growth. Acquisitions, profit, turnover, expansion, relocation, international operation… phew! As entrepreneurs, you are programmed to believe that growth is the only option. That, in order to succeed, your business must be getting bigger and bigger all the time. It has become default.
But, a venture can still be successful without adhering to conventional understanding of what a growing business should look like.
Bigger doesn’t always necessarily mean better
Business growth doesn’t always have to equate to the size and scale of the operation. Starbucks might have more coffee shops popping every year, but a small business operating from home can experience significant growth too – just in different ways. It all depends on your business. The key is for any growth to be stable, and sustainable, otherwise it could end up doing more harm than good.
Business growth might come in the form of:
- More sales
- Stronger brand communication and brand awareness
- Reputation and customer engagement
- Attraction and retention of the right staff
- Partnerships, endorsement and recognition
- Development of a small but well-trained team
There are some business owners out there who are perfectly happy with keeping their operation small, because that’s what suits their lifestyle. You shouldn’t feel forced to expand their business unnecessarily if you don’t want to.
Unwarranted growth risks loss of control over management, finance and processes, as well as diluting the brand and the service it offers.
As long as you’re making enough money to sustain the business financially, pay any staff you do employ and fund the level of lifestyle you want for yourself, growth in terms of size and scale is really just an option.
How to grow your business without growing your business:
Here’s how you can develop and grow your venture without having to increase its size or number of staff:
- Acquire new skills (both personally and within your team)
- Develop new products or services
- Fortify your marketing strategy to get more out of your existing customer base
- Free up extra time by streamlining processes
- Take measures to reduce human error
- Hire freelancers according to demand (no commitment to full-time staff)
- Outsource some of your responsibilities such as accounting and finance management