What if I were to tell you that by implementing one specific marketing strategy your sales would quadruple within 6 weeks? Would you jump on it? I have a feeling the answer would be YES! But wait, let's think this through. After all, every decision we make should be considered carefully and all risks should be calculated. Impulsivity has no place in business decision-making.
What would a quadruple of your sales look like? Maybe you currently have sales for 10 lawnmowing robots. What would it look like to suddenly have sales for 40? Could you handle the production of 40 and still get the product to market on time? Would you have to hire additional staff? Would you need a larger facility? Would you have the capital to invest in materials for 30 more lawnmowing robots? Maybe your answer is yes but maybe your answer is a very hesitant maybe.
We all would love to see the companies we have worked very hard to build grow into something successful and memorable. But is rapid growth always a blessing? Let's look at the service industry. Say you currently serve 20 clients by preparing their annual business tax returns. What if this year you get an influx of clients and now you're trying to prepare taxes for 80 clients? Maybe the time you spend on each client might have to be cut down (there is only one of you, after all) in order to get all the returns done before the filing deadline. Are you sacrificing the amazing service you have come to be known for? Are you taking shortcuts that might save time but might also result in mistakes? Are you having to hire and train someone right in the middle of your busy season?
Don't get me wrong, growth is good! It's something we all need in order to keep our businesses alive, but growth needs to be mindful. Not necessarily slow, but mindful. You need to be able to determine the level of growth you can reasonably accommodate at this moment in time and then you can think about what infrastructure you'd have to put in place to accommodate growth beyond that. Rushing into growth simply because it promises a higher number of sales could lead to disaster.
Always consider your marginal cost. Marginal cost is the cost of making more. If you make the lawnmower robots, what's another 5, 10, or 20 robots? The cost of adding another production line or two might be minimal, especially if you have a very successful production line to model the others on. After all, you'll be doing what you're already doing, just more of it. But what if you're the accountant and each and every single client is different? It's those different customer requirements that cost the most in time and attention. Growth for the accountant is going to look very different from growth for the company making lawnmower robots.
When thinking about growth, take your time, talk to people who have been there before, and trust that when the time is right, your business will grow and you will have everything you need to meet that growth...and you won't need a sketchy marketing plan for that.
Mrs Christina Hayward is the Administrator for Bridgeview Manufacturing. She's also a production worker and the company's chef, janitor, dog handler, and cheerleader.