A common saying is “Your company is either growing or dying.” However, some business owners say, “I don’t want to grow my business.” At one level, this has merit as business owners must be careful about growing too quickly. Entrepreneurs, who want to remain entrepreneurs, must be especially careful in treading on the growth treadmill. At some point in business growth, the CEO must let go of the reins. For example, a company with between 20 – 34 employees requires that the CEO begin to let go of some several strings that he or she has been controlling. Ouch! Yes, this can be painful for entrepreneurs and that may not wish to grow their business to that point. In addition, when a company reaches 50 employees, there are more regulations to deal with in terms of human resource considerations. For some entrepreneurs, this can be a nightmare because now your company changes immensely.
In addition, to changes in rules, regulations and compliance, change can be the onset of bureaucracy. Once the CEO is no longer involved in every decision, processes and systems begin to bog down. Some decision making can occur in a quick manner. However, the process or system the implementation of that decision must flow through can bring growth to a grinding halt. Frustration can set in and creativity and innovation can disappear. The organization must adapt to these new changes or die.
Adapting is part of growth. If the human race had not adapted to changes, we would not have grown into what we are today. Another example is that even though a CEO may not wish to grow his or her organization in terms of employees, revenues or even profits, organizations must still grow with market trends, technology and economic conditions. Because of these trends, organizations may experience higher or lower revenues or profits yet must still stay ahead of the curve. Ahead of the curve may mean the organization’s growth curve not only literally but also in terms of keeping up with trends. Keeping up with market trends may mean the business must expand or add new products or services. It may mean growing revenues in order to pay for new technologies or upgrade old ones. It may dictate growing profits to pay for lifestyle changes that circumstances demand.
As you can see, growth does not always mean hiring more or additional employees, purchasing more space, or even taking on more clients. It’s also easy to determine that just maintaining the status quo can mean a quick death to organizations of any size. Growing your business is a no brainer. There are plenty of entrepreneurial skeletons littering the business highway of bygone days who failed to do just that. The key element is to stay alert by reading business publications, listening as you network and keeping a watchful eye on the competition. That way, you won’t find yourself writing your company’s obituary.
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