The run has been great and you are afraid to mess it up. Clients love your service, and they recommend you to other people.
You don’t want the quality to go down, but also, you don’t want to miss the sales opportunities that are landing at your door.
You enjoy the thrill of getting another sale and seeing the business pick up but, recently somebody told you, you should be careful to grow too fast.
And even though it had crossed your mind, the fact that somebody else told you, got you wondering if you are.
Well, the short answer is no. Growing too fast shouldn’t be a concern, unless…
- It will lower the quality of the experience for your clients
- It will make your product too accessible and not special anymore
- It will make you take your business to areas you don’t have a competitive advantage.
- It will make you water down your message to try to attract a broader audience.
Let’s take a closer look at it. But first, there is something to think about.
If You Are Not Growing, Your Business Is Dying.
Before we continue, you should know growth is absolutely necessary for your business to exist.
Every year, some clients will stop buying from you, and inflation and other global trends will increase your costs.
So by default, your business needs to grow every year just so that it can stay where it is right now. In other words, without growth your business will have to close down.
I say this because many starting entrepreneurs get frighten by growth. And I get it, the picture of a huge company with all the employees IS scary.
But what we don’t realize is that we are looking at that vision of the future through the skills we have today.
There is no overnight success. You will only achieve that vision by developing the skills to manage it.
So, how can you know if you are growing too fast, and can it be a bad thing?
Understanding What’s Driving Your Growth
There are 2 areas that will drive growth in your business.
- Either sales are coming in or
- You are anticipating (<< keyword) sales and therefore, invest in the infrastructure and team.
As a small business, if you are growing because you are anticipating sales, then you will have a problem.
Well, first, you don’t have the demand to justify the investment. You don’t know if you are over-investing. Or investing in things you really need.
Second, you don’t know with certainty your plan will work. Figuring out the service delivery is easy, the hard part if finding a sales process that works. So developing the infrastructure before the sales come will waste your time and money. Don’t get distracted and focus on sales.
And finally, once people show up, that’s when you will get feedback, pushing you to redo the whole thing again. Again, wasting more time and money.
Now, of course you need some infrastructure to deliver on your product. What I’m saying is don’t go all-in building a 5000 people vacation resort if you’ve never own a hotel.
But what if my sales strategy works and all these people show up at my door?
Easy, you stop taking new clients and focus on figuring out the delivery.
Always figure out the sales first. Growing fast through sales is an indication that you’ve found alignment between your product, your customer, and your message.
So if your growth is driven by sales, that’s great! You figured out the first stage of your business.
On the path to 1 million in revenue a year, there are 3 key stages. Solving each stage, unlocks growth for your business. Understand where you are, and you’ll know if you are really growing too fast.
Understanding The 3 Business Growth Stages
There are 3 clear stages in your business, figuring them out accelerates your growth. Understanding them helps you be prepared and focused so that you know what to do.
The first step towards growth in sales comes from figuring out:
- Who your client is,
- What is the problem you solve for them
- How do you solve the problem
- How their life is better thanks to you
- And figuring out the best sales process
Get these things right and you will drive word of mouth, and increase conversions.
Especially as you sell to people within the same industry or company. They will tell each other about your business, or see others using your services.
Have these things align with a global trend, and everything will move even faster!
That’s why if growing too fast forces you to water down your message, then you should take a step back. The moment you water down your message, word of mouth will suffer.
Solving this first stage, will grow your business, uncovering a bottleneck in your capacity to deliver your service.
Increasing your delivery capacity is the next step. But in this case the demand is there and not increasing capacity is actually costing you money. You are losing sales.
Now is the time to invest in it. Not before.
In stage 2 is where you invest in standardizing your processes and developing systems to increase capacity.
With the second stage completed, you’ll now have a new challenge.
Until now, leads where coming through word of mouth. To continue growing, you need a replicable system that generates leads consistently.
Right now, it may feel you have a steady flow of customers when you have 30 people outside and your capacity is for 10. But when you increase capacity to 40, you will notice it.
Lead generation by word of mouth is exponential. The more clients, the more people you have talking about you. But, it’s something you can’t control. You can influence it, but, you can;t control it, and therefore you can’t have your business depend on it.
This is called “hope marketing”.
I hope somebody recommends me and they contact me.
That’s why stage 3 is all about perfecting your lead generation system.
So, Is Your Business Growing Too Fast?
Now that you know the growth stages, you know all this is part of the process. It’s easy to feel you are growing fast when you go from 1 to 5.
But the easiest way to check if that growth is good, then ask yourself:
Will this growth…
- Lower the quality of the experience for your clients. Then you have a delivery capacity bottleneck.
- Make your product too accessible and not special anymore. Control the demand by using scarcity so there is always people outside your door.
- Make you take your business to areas you don’t have a competitive advantage. If you know how to run fast, why will you join the swimming team? Business is simple, stick to your strength and you will stay ahead.
- Make you water down your message to try to attract a broader audience. Don’t do it. Making your message generic will make you boring. Try to attract everybody and you will attract none.
Don’t be afraid to push sales.
It will give you the cash you need to figure things out and protect your business. And if it’s to the point where quality starts going down, then just stop taking new clients.
Once you improve the capacity, open the doors again.
If somebody tells you “you should be careful with growing too fast” consider the source first. Did they grow their own business too fast that they went bankrupt? or they have read from some large companies that grew too fast?