Business > Knowing When Not to Grow as a Business

Knowing When Not to Grow as a Business

Business growth is one of the biggest challenge’s entrepreneurs face, there is a fine line between scaling success and scaling failure. The key is to know when to grow and when to not.

No one knows the ins and outs of growing a business more than Niran Iswar, co-founder and Director of NexGen Group. We sat down with Niran to ask him his thoughts on when business owners need to recognise to push the breaks, sit back and not grow!

“you wouldn’t have the true character of an entrepreneur if you weren’t eager to move at a million miles an hour and grow your business. All us business owners are in the same boat, we want crazy growth, massive profits and long-term success”

Although Niran is as ambitious as they come, partnering with hundreds of clients over the years has given him a in-depth view and opinion that the very thing that business owners desire, could eventually be their undoing.

“Vinay and I started NexGen out from our lounge couches, it took us many years to grow to a team and we did so slowly and methodically, it wasn’t easy but what I’ve learnt is the slower you move, the better the outcome for long-term sustainability actually is. I’ve seen it with so many clients too, the ones who want overnight success are usually the first to crash.”

There’s a reason the term “growing pains” is one that entrepreneurs know well. Business growth isn’t easy, change is uncomfortable, and the future is hard to predict. Explosive expansion can be overwhelming, in both positive and negative ways. Sometimes it’s best if you pace yourself—especially if you don’t have the components for that long-term success.

Niran said based on his experience if a business doesn’t have the following three ingredients, they may need to work on perfecting their recipe for success before falling into the flames.

1. Expertise

“Our expertise was hard-earned. My career path wasn’t a straight line, (can you add in about your journey to getting here pls)

Before scheming up ways to become a household name, take the time to research your industry inside and out. Don’t just know how to run your business, understand every moving part of it. If you’re in product make sure you know how every piece is produced, if you’re in service make sure you understand every aspect of customer service. Know your competitors, the market and industry. Do research, network with related businesses, go to trade shows, read industry publications, and have a genuine curiosity about what you do and how you can improve your product. Be THE expert!

2. Experience

You can achieve expert status in an intellectual way, without having actual experience or deep understanding. We Take The Cake reached a point where we believed we knew what we were doing. We had the public name, we had the big numbers—but we had absolutely no idea what our actual sweet spot was, which led to some failed attempts at franchising and pop-up retail locations.

The good news? Those missteps along the way become just the experience you need to rise through the ranks. The bad news? Perceived failure hurts pride, and possibly your budget, in the short term. Be humble and honest with yourself so that you can recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and then act accordingly to grow appropriately.

3. Assets

A lot of people consider assets to be financial, but they are actually anything that brings value to your business—from staff to equipment to work space. The greatest complications from our overnight fame were mostly related to the fact that we weren’t prepared for the onslaught of orders—and that was after our attempt to prepare. Our website went down, our hosting company quit, we couldn’t handle the call volume, and it became very apparent that our space was insufficient for our new business size.

Imagine the “worst” best case scenario and plan for it. It would have been far better to have found ourselves temporarily overstaffed than to realize we had three lines of voicemail filling up every forty minutes. And, remember, if you mess up on this step, you’ve gained valuable experience, so it all works out in the end anyway.

The truth is that a comfortable pace allows your company to grow into itself as well as its potential. There will always be time for learning through trial and error—and there’s tremendous value in doing so— but getting that education in bite-sized chunks is more palatable, and practical, than plunging face-first into that which you (think you) desire.

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