The Four Paths of Your Business
You have four potential paths that your business can take. Which path you end up on is entirely determined by you.
Path A: Succeed and grow
Obviously this is your first choice because you want to run a successful, profitable business that grows. You invest your time and money into your business in the hopes that it does this.
To achieve this level of growth…
- Continually set stretching goals and work hard to achieve them.
- Be willing to invest in your business.
- Create high quality products and serve your customers relentlessly. Market your business diligently.
- Hire staff appropriately.
- Put money back into your business
Path B: Sputter along
A lot of businesses unwittingly choose this path simply because they don’t know how to grow. They continue doing the same old things day after day, year after year, without any kind of plan. They keep their expenses down and are barely profitable without reinvesting in the business. This isn’t necessarily a bad plan but rising costs (from higher expenses and inflation) can risk your profits.
If you are a freelancer and you just want to enjoy what you do and continue to do it without any hassles or additional expenses, this might not be a bad choice for you. However, most people who prefer to run a profitable business prefer to own one that is a growing business.
Path C: A long, slow fade
Some businesses fade out slowly over a long time period. They might start out okay, fueled by the passion of the business owner and running on the capital invested up-front, but they can diminish over time until there is nothing left.
As a business owner, this is the worst of all paths to take, which brings us to…
Path D: Fail fast and move on
Businesses that are sputtering out shouldn’t be kept on life support. They should be cut off and dissolved. The business owner probably invested a lot of time and effort, making it an extremely difficult decision, but it is best to end the misery and live to fight another day.
These kinds of failures aren’t as bad as a long slow fade because they cost less and take less time, making them easier to recover from. A business owner who spends too much time and money on a failing business will end up digging too deep of a hole to get out of.