To Grow or Not to Grow...That is the Question!
Updated: Jan 9, 2019
This year I will be celebrating 10 years of my consulting business. It’s hard to believe how fast the years have gone and how much it has grown. As with many businesses, I’ve come to a pivotal point in terms of taking it to the next level….growing the business! My business is to work with businesses in taking them to that next level of growth by helping them with strategy, structure and process. Now, I need to evaluate those same issues within my own business.
As with any decision, there are consequences. When it comes to whether you should grow your business or not, here are some things that I am currently struggling through myself to determine what happens if I don’t.
My earnings are plateauing with what I can achieve on my own.
I won’t be able to help all the customers that are coming to me to help them achieve their goals.
I won’t be able to create additional jobs, which creates a healthy economy.
My competition will take advantage of the market and grow.
My business may shrink and be left behind.
I get bored with doing the same thing.
So, if I don’t there are certain consequences, but if I do, there are opportunities.
The ability to grow new customers and expand into new markets.
Experimenting with hiring new employees, growing new products and services.
Increasing security of my business, which will allow for bigger risks and faster growth in the future.
Timing is everything….growth has continued to occur for an extended period and demand continues to come.
Work/life balance can improve with spreading the work over a broader customer base and more employees.
Now all of these items are considerations when making a decision to grow or not to grow, but even more important is what do you want for your business. What do you want your business to be in 1, 3, and 10 years from now, and what risks are you willing to take to get there.
I’m working with two different businesses right now that are in a similar situation. One business has multiple partners that are all on a different page when it comes to growth. For some, growth is very incremental and safe, meaning as customers pull, they will consider growth, but they won’t drive the growth. For other partners, growth is transformational. Meaning, changing the face of their business and the future of their market. The second business I’m working with is a single owner, and his struggle regarding growth is based on his age, risk tolerance, and work/life balance. He doesn’t have the management team in place to lead the organization and grow the business without his daily involvement,and he doesn’t necessarily want to spend the time to develop it. In addition, the value of the business is not where he wants it to be to sell out.
The reality of growth is that there will be more time and effort by the owners/partners to grow the business before getting to the next level. There will be financial risks and personal sacrifices of time to make it happen. Without complete commitment and dedication to growth, it won’t work.
As Frank Lloye Wright said, “You have to go wholeheartedly into anything in order to achieve anything worth having.”
Jayne McQuillan, CPA, MBA, CEPA is a strategic management consultant, and the owner of Journey Consulting, LLC, in Green Bay