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Can or should a business stay the same size?

General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:27 AM
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Can a business stay the same size over time and should it? Or do you feel if a business isn't growing, it is shrinking?
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Old 09-01-2005, 12:44 AM
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Hi Everyone... good question. Here is my 2 cents.

It's true that the common conception is that 'If you aren't growing, your dying'. Perhaps in the multinational global economy this is true. In small business - in the landscape maintenance business - *I would disagree completely.

How far and how fast you grow your company is entirely up to you and will depend on your lifestyle preferences and your personality. I know of many companies who happily run 1 or 2 crews and have for years and years. They do very well having streamlined their operation over the years to maximize their profit and build up a group of preferred and loyal customers. Likely the owner of this type of business prefers a simpler lifestyle. On the other hand I know of companies who grow to 10+ crews and are always looking to grow more. There is nothing wrong with this. Obviously the owner of this company is a business person at heart and loves the challenges of building the enterprise.

Some people are perhaps not sure which way to go. My own personal experience illustrates this. I started small (who doesn't * *and grew my company over the years. After about 5 years it had grown and I was operating several crews. However, I realized that I enjoyed my life much more when I was running just 2 crews. So I downsized and stayed running either 1 or 2 crews since then. This allowed me more freedom and less stress.

So, I say, if you like it small... stay small. You may be surprised at your profit (4 crews does not necessarily mean twice as much profit as 2 crews). You are not dying. You are enjoying a lifestyle that combines satisfying work, a healthy lifestyle and good money. And what's wrong with that.

It’s worth noting, however, that not growing in size does not mean being stagnant. You should always be looking at new technology that can help your business, new services to offer and new ways to wow your customers. If you fail to do these types of activities regularly… then you are dying.
Joel LaRusic
Consultant/Author, Start & Run a Landscape Business
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