You may have read that title and thought…wait, why wouldn’t someone want to grow their business? Growth is good, right?
It is—but that doesn’t mean it’s necessary for everyone. Before pursuing growth, you have to really think about everything that goes into it and then ask yourself, “Am I ready for this, or should I continue to maintain what I have?”
Today, we wanted to talk about five specific reasons not to grow your business. If you don’t know these, you could be pushing for growth at exactly the wrong moment.
If You Don’t Have Enough Resources
Growth is expensive—and it requires cash. If you’re financially strapped and are working with no cash and very little margin, your focus should be on building up some resources before pushing ahead with growth opportunities.
That doesn’t mean you should go and get a loan, either. Banks like to loan you money when you don’t have it—because they see an opportunity to earn interest. We’re big fans of bootstrapping, so we’d say that if you don’t have the cash resources to fund growth on your own, you should wait…and not grow your business right away. Build up your reserves.
If You Don’t Have a Business That’s Easily Replicable
If your business isn’t easily replicable (or scalable, if you like), it’s going to be hard to grow. Why? Because it’s likely you, as the owner, are a big part of why the business works. Unless you can clone yourself, you can’t scale. Service-based businesses like consultants and coaches struggle with this.
What you can replicate is a process or tool. Think about the parts of your business you can easily reproduce without losing quality—and figure out how to grow that aspect rather than the business as a whole.
If You Don’t Have a Solid Team
One-man teams are great, but they don’t bode well for growth. Growing businesses need a leader who can think big-picture, not someone stuck in the daily details like bookkeeping and HR. The good news is, there is a wealth of freelance, part-time, and full-time professionals who can help you solve this problem.
Don’t grow your business if you’re not willing to hire help. You can’t do it alone.
If You’re in a Short-Term Mindframe
Thinking about retiring or selling your business in the next 5-7 years? Then it’s not a good time to grow—you’re in a winding down phase. Growth is expensive and risky, and if your horizon is short, there’s no need to push ahead for a last-minute sprint. It could end badly.
This is a bit more complicated for businesses founded by partners. Have the conversation to see where both parties stand on the future of the business before making a decision to grow.
If You Don’t 100% Love It
If you’re bored or not in love with your business any more, growing isn’t going to fix that—it’s going to compound those negative feelings. You’ll get in over your head with a business you can’t stand…and that’s bad news.
With growth comes more challenges, stress, and general unpleasantries—so unless you love your work enough to overcome the negatives, growth is a terrible idea.
Be Smart: Know the Reasons NOT to Grow Your Business
If you fit into any of these categories, re-think your plans to grow. It’ll save you a lot of unnecessary pain.
Have you seen businesses try to grow at the wrong times? What happened?