March 20, 2014

Struggling With Small Business Growing Pains

small business riskEvery small business, regardless of industry, at some point or another faces growing pains.  It’s the crossroads of trying to take your business to the next level but not have the capital or the staff necessary to do that.  It’s essentially another ‘ledge.’  The first ‘ledge’ was when you jumped off and decided to start this business of yours.  But throughout your entrepreneurial life you’ll have more ledges.  Those are the times you have to decide what you’re willing to put at risk to help the business grow.

I had a very interesting meeting the other day with two entrepreneurs.   On the one side of me was a woman who has grown a very successful food business and is now working towards taking it to the $1M mark.  On the other side was a woman who was 3 months into her new venture.   In both cases though, these women were struggling with what was going to be required to move their business forward.  For the $1M business, it was the struggle of whether or not she should hire someone to manage the entire operation and, if so, how much of the company would that person want.   While the start-up entrepreneur was struggling with how comfortable she was tapping into her own savings to put some real muscle behind the marketing of her product.

Ironically, I sat between them faced with my challenges.  As I look to grow this business the two questions that are always on the top of my mind are 1. what does the audience want and need and 2. what can I afford to do.   It’s the same question I know a lot of you face as you work to grow your businesses.

Wish I could say I’ve found the magic solution.  But just like when you first started, there are times in your business life where you just have to gather as much information as possible, try to make an informed and smart business decision, and then…JUMP.

What have you done when you’ve found yourself experiencing growing pains?  Any suggestions for those of us going through them?

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4 comments on “Struggling With Small Business Growing Pains

  • Hope on said:

    I am at the classic stage of spending too much time working IN my business (baking, bagging, boxing granola) with not enough time to work ON my business (sales, marketing, idea generation). At the same time, we are getting close to needing to move to a larger space. My plan is to talk to others who have been in the same boat and try to learn from their experiences. But as you say, eventually I will need to stop researching and just jump. In the meantime, I will gather info and try to make the right decision!

    • Jennifer on said:

      I think that’s a problem a lot of us make! Too easy to get caught up in putting out the day-to-day fires and not enough time or energy to focus on the bigger picture things. I know for me personally whenever I focus on big picture stuff I’m always worried about the growing to-do list of ‘little’ things that I feel I should be tackling.

  • Deanna on said:

    I completely agree with the article and previous comments. I know that for my business the our growing pains and “jump” is moving into new markets. It is the additional day to day work coupled with the financial expenditures that make growing a “pain”. I always feel like it is a good problem when I need to produce but then realize that means I have to spend money. Love articles and personal stories like these from other business owners, so much we can learn from one another.