There is one thing that is common among most business owners – they dream about how big their business may grow.
Not everyone. Some are perfectly happy reaching a modest goal and maintaining that level of activity throughout their working life. They’re simply happy not losing what they have.
But so many others (me included) are excited about the potential of growing their business. We wake up some mornings thinking about our business. It’s our passion, our art, our purpose. Sure, we have other priorities in life (God, family, friends) but our business is top of mind almost every day.
One of the things that fuel the passion is a question.
“How big could this thing grow?”
That question is exciting. It can feel like having a winning lottery ticket and not knowing how much you’ve won. Is it a million-dollar ticket, ten million, or maybe just a dollar? But it’s not just about the money – it’s also about the reach you can have, the impact you can make, and the legacy you can leave.
Excitement and enthusiasm are necessary to fuel business growth. At the same time, that same excitement about your business’s potential can cause problems. Big problems. I have seen it before in my own business and in others.
It’s a classic case of getting the cart ahead of the horse. Not keeping first things first. We grow before we’re ready. And the growth can lead to collapse because our business isn’t built on a strong foundation.
My company is growing again. But we have a new credo that stays in front of me every day when I’m getting caught up in the excitement of growth.
Systemize first. Scale second.
We want to scale up our business, to take what we do very well to another level. But the systems we have today (or lack of systems in some cases) are probably not the systems we need if we’re going to 10x our business.
Without proper systems in place, more volume in our business could lead to some problems. Things like simple errors, missed opportunities, staff burnout, disappointed clients, and general chaos. With systems in place, we should have an engine that runs equally well at 1,000 rpm or 3,000 rpm – it just produces that much more result.
Today, in the midst of the natural growth at our company, we’re working on systems. A lot. As those systems are developed, tested, and integrated into our workflow, our days run more smoothly. Our team works in greater harmony. Our pace increases but not our stress. Our opportunity grows but not our risk.
With better systems in place, we’re ready to scale up. And the question of how big we can grow becomes that much more exciting.
Build your business on a solid foundation and you may reach higher than you ever dreamed.