In business, there are two priorities that have to be balanced – the urge to forge forward, to create new revenue, and explore new opportunities, as well as the instinct to be cautious, to avoid risk and not commit to projects that could damage you.
Entrepreneurs tend to be people who are more ruled by that urge to move forward – otherwise they wouldn’t take the leap to start their own business and forge their own fate! But it’s important to retain a balance and make sure that other impulse has a voice in your decision making. Today we’re taking a look at how important it can be to go slowly, to minimise risk, and to avoid pitfalls.
The Risks of Going Fast
“Move fast and break things” is a much echoed mantra in the business world, especially within the tech and startup sphere. But there’s a lot of luck involved in making that pay off – if you don’t make good on your ambitions, you don’t get to remake the things you’ve broken, you just have a lot of broken things – and most of them will be aspects of your brand!
Trying to grow too fast can mean you overstretch financially, it can mean you make decisions you later come to regret like locking yourself into a contract for offices that don’t suit your needs, or it can mean in the rush to deliver you over-promise to your customers and damage your brand when you can’t meet those promises.
A new business has to be fast moving, has to pivot quickly to take advantage of opportunities and capitalise on the chance to generate some buzz and lock in more customers, but there is a balance to be found which includes care and planning to.
One of the riskiest times for any business is a growth project. They’re costly, speculative and by their nature done in public. You may find yourself overextended financially and having to trade away more stakes in your business to raise investment, you may find yourself taking on debt to subsidise an expansion that doesn’t cover its costs, you may find any kind of set back damages your brand as it undermines your image as an expert in your field.
The key is planning in advance. Setting a growth strategy that lays out when your business is ready to grow, the level of risk and financial exposure it’s prepared to take on, and more means that you’re able to move quickly – and safely – when you recognise an opportunity.
It’s well worth getting help with this – a strategy is a long term endeavour, and an investment in business growth consulting could repay itself many times over in decisions that don’t rebound on you!