You have worked hard, and the results have paid off- your business is showing a modest profit. You know you have the drive and determination to take your company to the next level, but you want more than just immediate results. You want your business and your employees to be happy and successful while also increasing your profits.
Most of us are familiar with the expression: “Slow and steady wins the race.” When it comes to your business, does this phrase apply? Absolutely! We share four reasons why a slow and steady pace is the right path to achieving your goal for growth.
1. Your business will be more sustainable
Between May and June of 2020, 930,000 new businesses were started in the United States. Keep in mind, this occurred in the midst of a global pandemic. That’s remarkable!
It might be fairly simple to start a business, but growing a business is another story. Real sustainable growth is not an accident – it comes from thoughtful planning.
We recently had a conversation with a prospect who runs a consulting firm. When we asked about his goals, he told us that he wanted his firm to go from $0 to $5 million within the next 12 months. While that is an awesome goal, based on other factors of his company, his goal didn’t seem realistic.
When you apply a slower approach to growth, you channel your entrepreneurial drive in the most productive way. You have more freedom to experiment. For example:
- Explore selling to a new target market
- Adjust the pricing of your product/services
- Identify ways to expand your products/services to existing clients.
By taking one of the suggestions above, developing a plan to execute it, and then monitoring the financial data over time, you can identify trends of growth. The decisions that yield positive results can be expanded upon until you have a sustainable source of income. The ones that fail to generate growth can be abandoned with few consequences.
2. Your business will remain focused on its values
Having a business idea and selling it can be done fairly quickly. However, building a company brand, a mission statement and a core set of values takes time. There are no shortcuts.
When a company is only focused on rapid growth, it’s easy to lose sight of what is important. Company values that were once treasured can be forgotten. If you do not take the time to develop and communicate the message and values of the business, then someone else on your team will, and it may not align with how you see the business.
Slow and steady growth allows you sufficient time to work on your company’s brand, its values and its mission. Once you have these established, it will direct you on which opportunities to pursue. The best opportunities for your company are those that allow you to achieve growth without losing sight of who you are and what you represent.
3. Better quality in your products and services
If your goal is to achieve growth quickly, you could end up creating additional products and services that your customers do not need or want. More isn’t always better; sometimes it’s just…more.
Additionally, if demand for your products and services increases too quickly, the overall quality may suffer. You’ll have to scramble to hire additional staff without having time to train them properly. You may not have the resources to prepare for increased customer service issues. In the end, you may end up losing customers from explosive growth!
A slow and steady approach means first examining the profit you have made.
- Do you know which products or services helped you achieve that profit?
- What kinds of customers are buying your products and services?
- Are those customers coming back to you for repeat business?
You may find that instead of creating new products/services, you can promote additional products and services to the existing customers you have.
Second, you want to take time to develop quality control measures to ensure your products/services are being delivered on time and with consistent results.
- What training would a new hire need to provide your products/services?
- What is the capacity of your team to produce your products/services in a day? In a week? In a month?
- Before a product or service is delivered to a customer, what should be checked? What are the red flags?
4. You and your employees will be happy
When you read about the rise and fall of startups, you often spot the same trend. On the surface, you see a successful business generating income and acquiring capital. Behind the scenes, the aggressive growth strategy can take a toll on a company’s culture and its employees. A start-up with a great business idea can grow too big, too fast. Employees and business owners are left feeling burnt out and unhappy.
A slow and steady approach teaches you that the company’s profit and your employees’ well-being are connected. You can build a roadmap that helps the company grow while keeping your team happy and motivated. With each new hire, you can discern which employees are the best fit for your company culture.
Hiring should not only be in response to increased customer demand. Balancing too many roles is one of the leading causes of burnout among executives. Hiring additional staff should allow you as the owner to delegate some responsibilities to others. In this way, you run the business instead of the business running you.
We believe that slow and steady growth wins for small business success. Are you interested in developing a sustainable and healthy strategy for growth? Why not start with these four steps to increase your revenue?