And while the appeal of fast growth can persuade even the most patient, disciplined business owner to suddenly change course in an effort to increase sales, build a brand, and expand into new markets, most experts agree slow growth is best.
That being said, you may be currently experiencing rapid growth through no fault of your own. Here are some ways to maintain your sanity and keep things in perspective during this time.
Stick to Your Business Plan
Creating and then revising your business plan every year helps overcome sudden urges to do something ‘crazy’ such as expand into unfamiliar markets or hire a bunch of new employees when you aren’t ready to do so.
“Going too fast can kill you from a cash-flow standpoint. Come payday, an entrepreneur doesn’t want to have to say to employees, ‘as soon as receivables get caught up, we’ll get you a paycheck,’ says Thom Ruhe, vice president for entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in this article published by USA Today.
Not planning ahead can really kill your bottom line and prevent you from seeking other sources of revenue. But having a business plan prevents you from taking too many steps too quickly. Think of it as a safety net that also keeps you in check. This doesn’t mean you can’t take risks – many businesses survive because leaders take risks. But it’s best to weigh the pros and cons of risky moves to make sure your business survives if the risk doesn’t pay off.
Find a Mentor
teamwork-2-1237611-mIn addition to creating (and following) a business plan, find a mentor that can provide advice, counsel, or just a shoulder to cry on during times of stress. Mentors include old bosses, family members, friends, or fellow small business owners. For more information and advice about choosing a mentor, read this article from Inc Magazine – it’s filled with tips and advice for finding the best people to talk to.
Take Time for Yourself
While growing a business brings excitement to your life, it can also bring stress, anxiety, and feelings of doubt. Remember to always take some time during the day for yourself – take a walk, have lunch out of the office, explore a new hobby, or just spend some time meditating. Not only do these activities reduce stress, they can also open your mind to new business ideas and arenas to explore.
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