When High Growth is the Wrong Strategy

September 18th, 2018

High-Growth-Tree-CoachSME-BlogYou have permission to ignore a high growth strategy.

In the month when Apple was valued, albeit briefly, as a trillion-dollar company, why is it that a growth strategy is still universally popular?

Business owners seem to be fixated on growth to the exclusion of any other option. A conversation I had recently is a good example. A business owner told me that her business goal was 100% growth in the next 5 years. Sounds a great target, but why? “Why that goal” I asked, her answer was “why not. Isn’t everyone going for high growth?”.

The saying “Turnover is vanity and profit is sanity” certainly applies above. The solo measure of success was achieving a 100% uplift. I’m sure they’re really concerned about profit, survival, costs, overheads, recruiting the right employees & new clients, keeping existing ones, cash flow and a host of other things, but….. their focus is only on turnover – I guess they hope the profit will follow.

As a nation we’re not comfortable saying we’re keeping our business small. Everyone expects us to have a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). So, we pick a number and hope for the best. We grow a bit, nothing meteoric and hope that it’s enough.

Conversely, a very good business model is the staying small model. That doesn’t mean no growth, it means steady controlled organic growth. And for that reason, I give you permission to stay small, remain profitable, take home enough money and enjoy life and some more free time!

A smaller business has lots of advantages

  • One site; a single office. Multi location management just adds time, effort, money and stress and reduces your ability to maintain consistency
  • Greater flexibility, ability to react to opportunities and embrace change
  • Profitability becomes the primary goal; personal service is easier to deliver, and marketing costs are generally lower
  • Because you’re delivering outstanding client service with as much value as possible, there’s a closer relationship with clients, so referrals and recommendations flow.

Every business must have a profit goal because without profit, what’s the point?

For all small business owners out there, please remember that you only have one life. Make it what you want, rather than what others expect you to do. Take control and be proud of your business, whatever its size. Once you do that you’ll feel a huge weight lifted, life gets better and strangely enough the business is better too.


Shirley Mansfield is a highly experienced business coach and Master Problem Solver. With over 25 years’ experience, she founded CoachSME in 2011 to work with business owners to maximise growth, and she is still trying to reduce the 14 handicap! Keep up to date by following me on Twitter @coachsme