Life in the fast lane/Surely make you lose your mind
Life in the fast lane/Everything, all the time - The Eagles
I had the most impressive conversation this morning with a potential small business client. We were discussing his question regarding growth in his company, and he said something that made my eyebrows go up:
“I need to know that we are growing in the right way. I know that we have added a lot to the top line, but not enough to the bottom line. We need to know who our most profitable customers are and add more of those, right?”
Growth, in his opinion, is a strategy and not a state of being. Most business owners let growth happen to them, rather than planning for it. It’s so flattering to have a referral call you (and in the interest of full disclosure, this conversation happened by virtue of a referral of this individual to my firm), and when you’re starting out, you need to work and add more revenue to your business. But there is such a thing as bad growth. And this guy gets it! He’s living it.
He said that he feels like a Tasmanian devil, twirling and swirling, screaming all the time. Haven’t we all felt like that? I know I have, and while it may feel good seeing the top line (gross revenue) grow, the bottom line (net income) is what matters. That’s what you take home at the end of the day. That’s what helps you add new employees, or purchase new equipment, and build a business that creates a difference.
“Life in the fast lane” will surely make you lose your mind, if you continually drive there. That’s why highways have more than one lane. For those who want to drive faster, the left lane is always there. Hit the gas and move over. For those who want to slow down and not have speed be the “everything, all the time”, the right lane is available.
Everything in our business requires and demands intention. We interview over and over to find the right employee. We ask for referrals and vet our new insurance advisor. We weigh options regarding a traditional telephone service provider against the VOIP service. Why would we NOT spend time planning for the right kind of growth, rather than just letting it happen to us?
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