Business Growth: How to Know What’s Right for You

By Heather Schommer, MBA – Stategic Advisor

Heather Schommer, MBA

As a Strategic Advisor, I am interacting with business owners every day.  And nearly everyone tells me that growth is a key initiative for their company.  Sounds obvious enough, right?  Good things happen when you grow.  Wrong! This is a common misperception that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Growth for the sake of growth is not always a good thing.  This Forbes article discusses the reality of growing a business and aligns perfectly with what we teach every day.  That is, the importance of maintaining focus on profitable growth.

Forbes contributor Jim Blasingame wants to compare your business with trees. Both of them are supposed to grow, right? But is your business a sequoia tree or a pear tree? While trees have genes to instruct how much they should grow over the course of their lives, businesses do not. A business can grow depending on the owner’s available resources and customers.

To help you determine whether your business should grow, Blasingame offers four fallacies about business growth and eight questions to consider when deciding if your business should grow, and how much. Of importance is not only how much your business can grow, but whether it should grow.

In his discussion of growth fallacies, Blasingame reminds us that when we grow, we grow in the direction we’re already headed. He says, “If a tree is bent, fertilizer won’t make it grow straighter.” Likewise, when growing a business, it doesn’t always mean your profits will grow, too. Other considerations include whether profitability would decrease, because it can, and whether customers would benefit from growth, because they may not.

The article also contains a list of questions business owners should consider when making decisions about growth. Readers are asked to consider the current market, what growth would require of their time and resources, and how successful efforts to grow could be.

Ultimately, your business is what you want to make of it, but know that it may simply be a pear tree with ideations of being a sequoia. Use the article’s advice to help you understand this difference and how it relates to your business.

Read the full article on Forbes.