If you’ve been in business for a few years, congratulations. That’s not easy—according to the Small Business Administration, half of all new businesses fail within the first five years.
Once you get past that milestone, your chances of survival are markedly better. However, that’s not why most business owners got into the game—they’re thinking about growth, and often feel an impetus to keep the pedal down to create a more robust business and, thereby, a more secure future for themselves.
However, your success over the first few years of business does not ensure that you will continue to grow. What got you here won't get you there. In the lifespan of every business, there are inflection points on the upward path where systems, methods and people’s jobs must change for growth to continue.
In many ways, it’s similar to when the company first started: You’re charting new territory, and figuring out the path forward isn’t easy. It requires a mindset shift that willingly leaves behind the old or current way of conducting business, and considers what needs to happen to build for the future.
This doesn’t happen by pure luck. You need guidance to figure out how to make the right adjustments to the business to set yourself up for continued growth; there’s no shortage of advice and methodologies to consider, so it’s important that you weigh a number of options to figure out what might work for your business and what won’t.
There are plenty of books and articles to read on business growth and management practices, and there are plenty of conferences to attend. Ideally, you’ve cultivated a group—often informal—of internal and external advisors with whom you can discuss different approaches. Our advice is to seek opinions from a variety of sources—owners of similar businesses, managers from other industries, and of course professional advisors like your accountant or lawyer.
The key is to make educated, well-considered decisions when it comes to implementing change. If growth is the goal, you’re doing it for the right reasons—but you need to make the right moves.
As with any change, there will be some employees who question the change or who have a hard time getting on board with it. You’ll very likely have to make some difficult decisions. However, if growth and long-term sustainability are the goal, these are decisions that have to be contemplated.
The bigger a business grows, the more complex it becomes. As that complexity grows and the executive team has more and more demands on its time, it becomes vital to have the ability to poke your head up from the day-to-day fray and survey the landscape around you. Any business owner that prioritizes growth must be willing to work to understand new paths forward, and do what it takes to travel those paths.
Contact us at 215.441.4600 or Email if you have questions or would like to discuss how this topic may impact your business.
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