I am sometimes a bit surprised when I hear from Business Owners that they do not want to grow their business. I can be fairly competitive and hearing someone say that they are happy with their business at the size it is now causes me to stop and wonder. Why would any business owner not want to grow their business?
Following a lot of questions with those business owners here are the reasons I have learned from some:
My business is already big enough – I have a business that provides me with a vacation home and the time to go there. I make enough money to pay my bills, have a house and enjoy my family. I don’t want to grow my business anymore and lose that.
I don’t know how – I would like to grow my business but I don’t know how. It is big enough here and most of my customers do come back. I wouldn’t know how to expand my business any more than I know where to expand it.
I don’t have the money – Sometimes this is “I can’t afford to.” It takes money to expand the business, to grow it, the banks tell me no when I want a loan and I don’t have the cash to do it myself.
I do hear several other reasons but all of them seem very closely related to these three. Each are sound reasons, based upon what the business owner knows today. However, it is what they don’t know that is stopping them more than anything else.
Small businesses have one thing in common. All of us are good at the things we promote, produce or provide in our businesses. What we need help with are those things outside of that. Those things that help run, and ultimately grow, the business.
Small business owners should not be afraid to ask for help. Most communities have some assistance available for them that can help build and grow their business. These can range from your local Chamber of Commerce, a technical school or university, or Independent Consultants. Whatever path you choose, you have to make certain that it meets your needs.
Growth doesn’t have to be expensive and in fact, it should give you a return on the investment you make into it. Further, the tools you use should be scaled for small business and not simply a big business solution masquerading as a small business solution. So when seeking help for growing your small business ask yourself these questions:
How do I want to grow?
Will the person helping me provide me with the Education, Training And Tools to grow my business?
Will they Work Alongside Me To Achieve The Growth? Or will they simply “coach me”.
Will they Establish True Measurable Growth Goals for my business or simply leave that to me?
Are they really passionate about small business?
The answers will differ for each of you and from those answers you can choose the best path to take.
A word of caution. Beware of rapid impact or quick fix strategies promising to grow your business at an accelerated rate. You should desire controlled and sustainable growth and along with it a clear understanding of specific methods and tools that you will use to do that. If you are doing all the work, you don’t need to hire someone to poke and prod you into complying with your own plan.
Rapid growth is not always the best idea for a small business. It strains resources, especially financial resources, and is not always sustainable. A growth strategy focusing on a more sustainable and secure rate of around 20% per year is the best approach for a small business. Further, this allows the business owner to adapt and incorporate strategies that do not increase the amount of time they must spend in or on their business. A good growth strategy ensures the owner does not increase their time commitment, unless they want to.
For many of us our business is much like our child. It is important to us and has become a significant part of our lives. We want to see it grow and we want to see it succeed. In that some 50% of small businesses fail, we need to make certain that what we do is done right
So as a small business owner consider this. We don’t always know everything about running a business but help is out there for us. When we find out where to get that help we can grow from our possibilities to our impossibilities, we never again have to answer the question “why don’t you want to grow your business?”