In the business world we often talk about growth; we chart it, forecast it, budget for it, hope it happens, and then expect it. It’s considered the “holy grail” of business success. But growing a business can be a double-edged sword and there are a host of myths about how it occurs. These are the top 20 and how you get around them.
Bigger is better
Size doesn’t necessarily equate to success. There are plenty of businesses where proprietors have invested heavily in making their business bigger, only to find at the end of the day the financial return doesn’t meet their expectations.
The solution is to know exactly where your growth is occurring or is likely to and invest strategically when required.
Growth equals cash
Yes, growth can equal more revenue. But the likelihood is it will also require a financial response, whether that’s larger premises, higher staffing levels or an investment in better tracking technology.
Planning is the key, to know what to expect, what will be required and to budget for the growth leap period.
It will just happen
Growth can be organic in nature but sometimes it needs a concerted effort. This is where intimate knowledge of your market, emerging trends and growing areas pays off. That way instead of just responding to growth, you make a calculated estimate of what will happen and put yourself at the forefront of the game.
I can do it all
No man can be the master of all things. If you’re looking to grow your business, you may require additional staff or people to fill specific roles to support you in your larger endeavour. You may also require outside expertise along the way to give you insight and assistance.
Plan? Who needs a plan?
Much of business comes down to good planning. A business plan that includes your forecast growth and what will be required is your road map to what needs to occur.
Same, but bigger
If your business is expanding, it’s natural things are going to change. Larger enterprises call for more stringent systems and procedures to ensure the service or product you provide retains its integrity.
Grow or die
This old nugget of wisdom fails to take into account that if not handled carefully, growth can outstrip the managerial and production capacity of a business, meaning the goodwill you have spent years establishing could be swiftly and irreversibly damaged. Any growth should be carefully considered with the correct framework to back it up.
Growth equals more jobs
Growth can equal more jobs; if it does, it can also mean higher staff costs. But sometimes well-handled growth can be about better utilising and training your staff, implementing the right systems, procedures and lines of communication to take the business to the next level.
Better staff leads to growth
Great staff are the backbone of almost every company but that doesn’t mean head hunting for top talent to get the job done. Ensure the staff you have are trained to do their job and bring in other people where necessary.
Growth takes money
Sometimes growth requires funding but not always. A steady approach to growth can involve using a portion of the profits you have to increase product lines or invest in better marketing.
My business will outgrow me
Whether they know it or not, business owners often fear a growth spurt believing their business will grow to be beyond them. This is where careful planning comes into play and implementing the right staff in the right positions to ensure you work on your business and not just in it.
Better site, bigger business
A high profile office with the latest fit-out and decor, doesn’t guarantee success. Again this should be evaluated and planned for in the knowledge a change of premises can alter your customer base.
Slow and steady
While slow and steady is said to win the race, sometimes business growth takes a leap of faith where you identify a potential area of growth, research its likely success and take the plunge.
Borrowing is bad
Yes, borrowing can be a risk, but if carefully considered with the research to back you up, borrowing can provide you with the capital you need to take the next step.
High prices equal more profits
You might have a premium product and customer service that is second to none, but high prices can limit your customer base, restricting your market and income.
I’m impervious to competition
So your business is growing, and your service or product is unique. That’s not the time to rest on your laurels and underestimate the competition. Expanding your range, changing your premises or altering your staff levels can leave you vulnerable to competition.
Working harder is the only path
Hard work absolutely gets you a long way in business, but ultimately it’s about working smarter, not necessarily harder to encourage growth.
All it takes is advertising
Growth isn’t always about throwing money at something and that certainly applies to advertising. It pays to make sure your product is honed well, with the staff trained adequately to deliver it, and then tailor your marketing to your potential customers.
I’m not ready
Change can be challenging, especially if there’s an element of risk involved. If you feel you’re not ready but growth is inevitable or a requirement, then get yourself on the front foot. Tidy up your business plan, chart your course and implement the right policies and procedures to get you where you need to be.