It seems that every other small business article is focused on some sort of accelerated growth. How to Grow Your Business Quickly! The Secrets to Rapid Small Business Growth! How to Triple Your Business in One Quarter! All of these headlines seem great, but one has to wonder: is hyper growth what small business owners want? Moreover, is that sort of thing even good for new small businesses? Did hyper growth really work out that well for Tom Hanks in Big?
There’s no silver bullet answer because every small business is different. But simply acknowledging that hyper small business growth might not be all it’s cracked up to be does warrant a discussion around the reasons why.
Early Hyper Growth Can Overwhelm Resources
Yes, you want your business to trend in a positive direction, but too much too fast can sometimes overwhelm—in more ways than one. Early hyper growth can lessen the quality of your output: if you’re racing around to satisfy every customer or client and are just barely doing so, there’s a good chance the quality of your work will diminish. Clients will notice this. They’ll begin to feel a little less loved—and they won’t love the “I’ve got too many clients!” excuse.
So be thoughtful about your growth as it relates to your resources to get the work done. (And read up on how to hire your first employees, while you’re at it.)
Early Hyper Growth Can Overshadow Good Business Habits
When you start a business, you need to develop the business infrastructure. Think legal, banking, entity formation, accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, tech, HR, payroll, insurance, etc. Sure, not all of these things have to be established on Day One, but the earlier they’re in place, the better they’ll run and the more useful they’ll be to you. So if you’re trying to establish a business and doing all of the actual work, you’ll be making a lot of movement but perhaps not as much positive progress. And here’s the other thing: good habits as they relate to business infrastructure are practiced early and often. The more you do your books, the better they’ll be. The more you review your business banking, the more you’ll be able to make financially-informed business decisions.
Yes, growth is good, but ignoring the establishment of good business habits out of the gate can hurt you in the long run.
Early Hyper Growth Can Mean Missed Opportunities
We know, this sounds counterintuitive. How can aggressive growth mean missed opportunities? If you’re growing fast, you’re snapping up every piece of business out there, right?
Maybe. But maybe not…
You may be tapping a flush well right now, but what if it starts to run a little dry? Will you look back and see missed opportunities? Maybe your hyper growth was hitched entirely to one type of customer or market sector. If that starts to slow, what happens? Sure you could hop market to market, but why not identify a variety of markets or customers that can sustain your growth?
The bottom line is this: don’t let hyper growth blind you to sustainable growth.
Early Hyper Growth Can Take Its Personal Toll
When you go out on your own, personal relationships change. And as much as the entrepreneurial workaholic in you doesn’t want to admit, personal relationships matter. Yes, your new venture is going to encompass a huge portion of your life, but if it starts having a negative impact on what means most to you (i.e., those relationships!), hyper growth can sometimes be the unexpected culprit.
Look, we’re not saying you should be all lackadaisical about your business and it’s growth from the get-go, but part of being an entrepreneur is being able to do what you want to do, professionally and personally. The more self-aware you can be when it comes to how your business’ growth is correlating to your personal relationships the more satisfaction you will get out of both.
By no means are we saying growth is bad. Growth is good. But understanding all of the implications of growth—particularly hyper growth—will help you build a strong and sustaining business for years to come.
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