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  • Evan Kirkpatrick

For Real or Not?

Ask yourself, am I for real? I don’t mean that as an insult, but are you, as the head of your business, living in the real world?

Does it make sense that your revenue goals for next year are for 50% growth?

Is your mind pounding to the beat of “scale, scale, scale”?

Is that what you even want?

Oftentimes we take hold of the language of the culture around us - whether it’s startup culture, competitive moms, or the world of flag football - and we chase after a dream that someone else has told us we should have.

And there are people all around us who reinforce that message and have a stake in seeing us scale scale scale into oblivion.

And that’s what I want you to be very careful of.

Bigger isn’t automatically better.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t go big, but I want you to do a reality check about what that really means. Let’s take a step back and think about what’s at stake if you go off into the la la land of being the biggest you can possibly be.

For starters, there are what I like to think of as the Ps - people, processes, and problems.

People - More customers means more people to work with them. More people means more management. If there aren’t good processes and procedures in place, scale can cause things to break down and run amok. New people have to be recruited, onboarded, trained, and often need to be replaced. Most owners are used to doing a lot of functions themselves, and it takes time and effort to transfer those over to employees.

Processes - As volume increases, fulfillment is the first thing that feels the strain. If you already struggle to get things to your customers on time, to maintain quality control, or to handle customer service issues, having more of the same isn’t going to make it go any more smoothly.

Problems - The more moving parts anything has, the more likely it is to break. Volume is the introduction of many, many more moving parts. If you have software, machinery, relationships, or anything else that’s feeling strain where you’re at, putting more weight on it is asking it to break. There’s also the increasing chance of new, unexpected issues, like lawsuits, employee defections, or increased competitive pressures.

These are by no means insurmountable problems. But if you scale too much and / or too quickly, there may be more losses than gains - in a financial sense, and more importantly, for you as a human being who values more than this.

Come and see us about those 3 Ps and we’ll come up with a real plan to meet your real goals.

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