Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links
There’s a solid argument for keeping your small business small. It makes the day to day operation of your enterprise more manageable, it affords you greater oversight over quality control, it invariably allows you to provide a more intimate level of customer service and enables you to spend more time doing what you love and what you’re great at. In today’s fast paced and ever changing business landscape, however, the ambitious entrepreneur may well have growth on their mind. After all, a small business means small profits, small profits mean small wages and small wages mean stunted entrepreneurial progression. But if you have your sights set on growth there may be one significant obstacle getting in the way of it…
As passionate as you may be, as much as you may care deeply about your every employee and every customer, and as dedicated, determined and resourceful as you are, it’s entirely possible for a well meaning entrepreneur to impede their own business’ growth. As yourself some of these searching questions to see if you’re really the one getting in the way of your business’ growth…
Are you trying to run before you can walk?
Does your reach exceed your grasp? Are you trying to grow your business without the proper infrastructure? Are you investing a surge of effort, time and capital into marketing to draw in new customers when you can barely keep up with the ones that you have? If you don’t keep a close eye on your resource allocation and cash flow management your business may end up tripping over its own feet. In order to facilitate sustainable growth you have to be able to walk before you can run.
Is it your way or the highway?
Your passion, determination, single mindedness and drive are all part of what makes you a great entrepreneur… But even you have your limits. While your business is, and should be, an extension of you, built around the values and ideals that matter to you, when it’s either your way or the highway, you run the risk of stagnation. You recruited your employees for their skills, intelligence and savvy and in some cases they may be better placed than you to identify areas for change and improvement within your enterprise. If you don’t give them an open forum in which to air their ideas, they will feel less empowered and your business may suffer.
Do you eschew outsourced assistance?
When you have established a way of operating that works for you, it can lead you to become resistant to outside perspectives, but this may also be detrimental to your business. Moreover, it can cause you to divert a great deal of capital, time effort and resources into functions that may be better fulfilled elsewhere. Historically, outsourcing to providers of Managed IT Services, HR service providers and marketing agencies has been beneficial to small businesses. It has allowed them to find custom solutions that are entirely scalable to their growth ensuring that there is no waste in capital or resources.
Finally… Do you get skittish when it comes to capital investments?
It’s only natural for entrepreneurs to keep a close eye on their bottom line and when they have expansion in mind, it’s understandable that they might be wary of margin erosion. However, this cannot make them resistant to capital investments like new equipment, software and even premises. It may take a while for them to start paying for themselves but if you give them time they will prove a vital part of your operation’s growth.