Here's why it's okay for your business to go slow: So I was spending some time with a friend a few days back, and we got to talking about his business. He shared his frustration over the pace at which his company is growing.
It seemed like he was reaching milestones and growing much slower than he used to. It would take him months to get everything in place and execute an idea.
And he isn’t the only one with this frustration. Thousands of other business owners have all gone through this. They were all once used to operating at a significantly rapid pace. But let’s look at why this isn’t a bad sign for your business and how you can keep yourself from being exasperated.
An Analogy of Boats
The way I like to explain this is by using an analogy. Specifically, we’ll take a look at boats – yes, those things that sit in the water.
When you have a small business or start-up, you have something likened to a Jet Ski or wakeboarding boat. It’s small and agile; you can move around quickly. It wouldn’t take you much time or effort to turn around, and if you make a wrong turn, you can quickly get back on course.
Now when your business grows, it becomes more like a freight container or cruise ship. It’s bigger but moves slower. It’ll take a meaningful amount of time to turn around. It’ll also cost a lot of other resources to achieve this. Once you veer off-course, it’s more challenging to get back on track.
From Boats to Business
See how the analogy applies?
When you’re a start-up, it’s easy for you to make changes to your business. Not everything is as clearly defined yet. You can even change your service or product line entirely in a matter of days or even overnight if you have the resources.
However, when you’ve become a better-established business, those kinds of changes won’t be as easy to make. There’s much more factors, resources, and people involved now. If you were to change your business model completely, that would mean possibly restructuring your organisational chart, acquiring new equipment, re-calculating salaries, and so on.
Why It's Okay For Your Business to Go Slow
Now, how does one adapt to this change? It’s all about changing and managing expectations. It is no longer a realistic goal for you to try and make adjustments as rapidly as you once did.
The way I see it, start-ups go:
Idea -> Execution
Bigger businesses have to add in another step:
Idea -> Planning -> Execution
Planning would, of course, entail searching for resources, creating and allocating a budget, breaking down specific tasks, assigning personnel to these responsibilities and so on. To reach your future goals as a bigger business, it’s crucial for you to get better at planning.
In closing, a way for us to avoid frustration is to manage expectations. We feel unfulfilled because we aren’t meeting the standards we set for ourselves. But we may not realise that we have set unrealistic goals for our business.
Taking it slow isn’t always bad. At the same time, we also have to learn to appreciate the time we have while we’re quick and agile. Just like how our youth, it won’t last forever.