Should you grow or scale?
When a business gets to a certain size, the next step is, usually, to grow it. This is a critical point in a company’s lifecycle when the real question is ‘do we grow or do we scale?’
Founders go through this pain when they find themselves struggling to keep up with demand and paperwork.
The cycle is usually
- Start a business with a purpose – to meet a need
- Get busy
- Employ help
- Manage the help
- Realise you are managing and not doing what you started out to do yourself
Problem: scaling is not the same as growing
There is a point in every business’s lifecycle when ambition overrides purpose:
- Why did you start doing this? Because we saw a need in other people’s lives.
- How can you grow your client base? Go digital.
- Why are you going digital? To reach more people.
See the shift? Purpose has been pushed aside and scaling back to profit has become the incentive.
Take a training company, for example. Training of any sort is delivered best by someone who has experienced a process, seen the transformation for themselves, learnt how to be brilliant at delivering the method and who inspires trust, enthusiasm and purpose. And changes the way you work for the better.
A training company, however, is only able to reach as many people as they can stand in front of. So, they bring in more trainers who are also brilliant and do a great job.
Next step is that overheads grow and the training company needs more work, so they invest in a portal. They go digital.
The digital version of their training product is interactive, responsive, easy to access, can be delivered while you’re in the bath and doesn’t encroach on your life too much.
This is scaling. The only thing this grows is the training company’s top line. It certainly isn’t going to turn the brilliance the training company once delivered into ‘change’ in your daily life.
Scaling ≠ growing
The digital system may be the best there can be today but the brilliance has gone from the process. Digital may deliver a process efficiently but sometimes it genuinely gets in the way of delivering what a client needs.
Digital isn’t clever enough, yet, to listen to the room, turn the problems that get discussed into nuanced case studies and help a specific client to improve their business.
It may do this in time. It doesn’t do it now.
The answer, we believe, is to stay true to ourselves and only work with clients face-to-face or one-to-one.
The programmes room44 delivers are only available from a core team or by email with the same people.
The objective we aim at is to create a sense of purpose in you and provide you with the tools you need to change your company’s prospects.
We strive to create an environment in which change can occur and we prepare you to be the nucleator.
Our website says “Product innovation strategies for revenue and growth. It doesn’t say ’strategies to help you scale and distance yourself from your client need’.
Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what we do.
Here’s one way we do it. Click to download the 10, 20-30 programme outline, new for 2020.