12 Things to Consider to Make Your Business Better Before Bigger

Every week I talk extensively with entrepreneurs and business leaders. I love to learn about their experiences, journey, vision, and where they are in the corporate life-cycle. Often, I ask them where they see the company in the future. Not all, but most of the responses relate only to significant growth in revenue and staff. 

In business school, the focus is on corporate growth. As alumni from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, with the curriculum created by the top tier business school Babson College, the focus is on corporate growth. To complete the program and graduate, scholars must build and submit a comprehensive growth plan. 

I also read a ton of books and publications on business. Many glorify profit-making and hoarding cash. 

Look at the largest corporations in the world. They measure success solely by corporate growth. There is little concern for hurting others, exploiting employees, destroying the planet, avoiding taxes, and even more cash hoarding. 

From what I see, including my own experience as an entrepreneur, our modern business culture focuses solely on corporate growth (increasing revenue and profits) as the end goal and measure of success. But at what cost? And why?

Most people have heard 80% of new businesses don’t survive for five years. And of the 20% that do survive, many wish they didn’t because they never turn a profit. Growth isn’t a bad thing, but it should be a judicious decision. Infinite growth isn’t logical. If your main goal is corporate growth, ponder these 12 questions to consider a different perspective.

  • Do you have the processes in place to become better as you get bigger?
  • Why is growth the goal?
  • What purpose does your company have?
  • Can you justify why bigger is better?
  • Will growth add frustrating complexity to an already profitable company?
  • Will growing bigger sacrifice product quality and personal time?
  • How much growth is enough?
  • What are you willing to sacrifice for growth?
  • Have you considered reasons to limit growth?
  • Is more money the motivation for growth?
  • Will higher revenue from growth equate to more profits and income?
  • How will growth impact your overhead and profit margin?

If your goal is to make more money, then bigger isn’t always the answer. The answer is you need to be a better company, not a bigger one.

 

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