My oldest son used to wake up at night crying in pain. He said he legs were really hurting. We would get him some pain relievers and comfort him back to sleep. Over a few months he grew about four inches. All of that fast growth caused him pain. Our businesses can experience similar growing pains.
While we may not be able to control the speed at which a teenage body grows, we do have more control over our businesses and their growth. As owners, we control a lot.
We control price. Increasing price will cause some, repeat some, customers to go elsewhere thus slowing growth. Decreasing price will generally speed up growth but can also lead customers to question your value thus creating issues in the future when you want to grow again.
We control service. We control quality. These are dangerous areas to play with but can be used to facilitate growth or slow it. The danger is that if you lower your service or your quality, you will slow your growth but you will also lose customers not only sales. Improve your service or your quality and watch growth happen.
We control marketing. Many businesses can turn on advertising or marketing campaigns when they need more business and shut it off or slow it when the pipeline is full.
We don’t control factors outside of our business but we can control everything within it.
But it hurts… Yes business growth, especially too fast can be painful. How do we know how fast we can grow? The answer is looking behind the lines.
I read some military history lately and noticed that those that advanced faster than the supply lines could support always ended up in trouble. You shouldn’t grow faster than your business “supply lines” can support. Your supply lines in business might be your employees, your systems, your time, etc. Planning your growth without planning for the supply lines will cause you growing pains. Remember the speed of growth is the speed of support.
As you create a growth plan, think about the things you can control and think about the things that will be needed to support the growth.
May you experience growth and may it be pain free as a result of your planning.
This blog allows you to experience the raw, gut wrenching drama of human conflict through accounting in each of its three stages: preparing to do battle, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.