The Wisdom of Expanding Your Business
It is the aspiration of most business owners to grow and expand their business.
It really is only natural to want to do so.
From our very first breath, we are encouraged to succeed.
And as we go through schooling, that pressure to succeed becomes intense and all consuming.
So it makes sense that most business owners want to grow their business to be the biggest and best . . . in the World!
Some business owners do see the light.
Maybe it comes with maturity, or perhaps with good mentoring, or perhaps just born of some life experiences.
They end up down-sizing or boutiquing their business to a more manageable and less stressful level.
So when a client that I am coaching announces that they want to expand their business, I always ask them some questions.
And the first question I ask is “Why?”
Why do you want to expand the business?
What is the justification for doing so?
More importantly though is the how.
If you do this, how is it going to work and how are you going to pay for it all?
Don’t get me wrong or mis-understand me . . . there are many valid reasons and cases for expanding.
But there are also many instances where it is done:
- at the wrong time
- for the wrong reasons
- without any foundation or justification in fact
A Strong Business Case?
So often the drive to move to bigger premises is not driven by business needs or a strong Business Case.
In many instances, the business case when looked at seriously, demands staying at the current premises.
Not only are there insufficient revenues to support the move to the new and bigger premises.
There is also untapped capacity in the existing premises that is going to waste.
Ego or Necessity
I am thinking in particular of several group training (gym) businesses – let’s call themA & Gym B.
Both were originally housed in somewhat older styled and small commercial premises.
Both were feeling cramped in the existing premises.
Both had time slots available to run more classes and spread the accommodation load.
Each were in different financial circumstances at the time of deciding to move.
Gym A had strong numbers regularly attending all classes, and new members coming in.
Gym B had only moderate numbers, and the outlook was definitely not as good as Gym A.
Both businesses moved to new premises.
Gym A moved to premises a bit more than 2 times the size.
Gym B moved to premises almost 4 times as big.
Gym A is still doing well.
Gym B is struggling now and feeling financial pressures.
Was it necessary for these businesses to move premises?
In my humble opinion, (and admittedly not knowing all of the details), I would say NO!
Both had time slots available to schedule more classes and better utilise their staff resources.
This would spread out the existing load and make much more use of the premises which were idle for much of the day.
It would also allow them to engage more of the coach’s time in actively coaching rather than sitting around or going home on a split shift arrangement.
But in both cases, Ego came into play, and the attraction of “shiny-new” (well, much newer) and much bigger premises swayed the decision to move.
Gym A also had a promotional windfall which helped make the move easier, and they are now doing well.
Gym B had no such windfall in marketing, and numbers have been dropping since the move.
Resist the Temptation
In moments of Ego, I have been tempted myself to move our business to some big and flashy premises.
Then I stop and think . . .
- What will it benefit me?
- What will it benefit the business?
- Is it really necessary?
And each time, logic tells me that it is just my Ego wanting to do something to feel good!
And in hindsight, I am glad that I kept our operation lean and effective rather than showy and carrying extra weight.
Well, that is quite simple really!
Watch this short VIDEO
Business Summit 2013: Starting or Expanding Your Small Business
What should you do now?
- If you want to survive, evaluate your decision carefully.
- Want some help or ideas? Just contact us at Hotpink Websites now.
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.
~ Max de Pree
Remember – The Wisdom of Expanding Your Business