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Thursday, November 29, 2007

10 Perfectly Good Reasons to NOT Grow Your Business (Part 2)

Continuing on with part two of reasons not to grow your business; reasons 6-10:

  1. You don't want to risk going through the growth stage again - Once upon a time, when you were a younger person, you had time to make and lose a fortune. However, if you now find yourself approaching retirement or making plans that require financial security, growing your business may not be such a great idea. Though the risk is less than when you started your business, there is still a risk that you may fail, and thereby lose everything you've worked to obtain so far. Just like your investment strategy with stocks and bonds, if you don't need the money for years, then you put your money in high-growth, high-risk investments. But if you need the money sooner than later, you begin to invest in bonds, T-Bills and other less risky ventures so you can be sure your money is still there when you need it. Your business is your investment, don't get risky with it if you need your money soon.

  2. You have personal health issues (you're not as young as you once were) - Added stress impairs the body's immune system. So, it makes perfect sense that if you are having personal health issues such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, ulcers, depression or one of hundreds of other issues, adding additional stress to your life is going to limit your body's ability to fend off additional problems. Use some common sense before adding what might be unnecessary stress to your life. Having a heart attack, sitting behind your desk while facing the pressures of growth is no way to die.

  3. Your family needs you more - Allow me to climb on my soapbox... America today is more concerned with the balance of their bank account than they are with the balance in their life. Workaholics, in part, work so much because they feel that if they provide financially for their family, they will be viewed as a better spouse, father or mother. In reality, your kids and your spouse aren't going to stand by your hospital bed while you breathe your last few breaths and say, "Gee I'm so glad you put in all those 80 hour weeks while you were growing your business because I really value the brand name clothes you bought me more than I would have ever valued spending time with you. Look, I brought those really cool shoes you got me when you were feeling guilty about missing my third grade school play to show you I still have them." - Okay enough said.

  4. You like status quo - If you're happy with how things are going, why mess up what's not broke? Some half-cocked business consultant may try telling you that "water that isn't flowing is stagnant and stagnant water stinks" To that I say, "Whatever!" Our culture is against status quo, and screams that there must always be a better way, a more efficient way, a bigger way of doing things. Sometimes the answer is simply, "I just like it the way it is." and that's okay.

  5. You haven't reached optimal efficiency with your current size - If you're set and determined to grow your business and the previous nine reasons didn't fit you, then please make sure you are currently running your business at its optimal efficiency. As your business begins to grow, you will be forced to let go of the little details and delegate to someone else those responsibilities. However, if there is waste, mistakes and bumps in the road that are causing even the smallest level of problems in your business now, growth isn't going to fix this. It's going to magnify it. Your 4% inaccuracy problem now is going to grow to 6% or 8% while you grow because you are no longer there to monitor everything that happens. Before you start the growth, prepare for it and tighten things up.

Understand a few things here, I am not saying you should never try to grow your business, nor am I saying you will fail if you try. I am giving strong caution to someone who feels the need to grow your business despite qualifying for one of these reasons.

Perhaps Alice Walker sums up my final thoughts best when she said, "No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow."