The bigger the business, the better... right?
If you listen to conventional business advice, it'll probably have you thinking that the bigger your business is, the better it is.
Not only that, but the bigger your business is, the more successful you are as a CEO.
However, are either of those necessarily true?
While there are certainly many advantages of business growth, what are the costs of it? Moreover, what are the cons of business growth?
We're here to tell you the truth about business growth, including its disadvantages that nobody ever tells you about! Because, the truth is that business growth isn't always as peachy as people portray it to be.
BUT, there is some good news about having disadvantages to business growth...
Believe it or not, but if you play to your disadvantages right, you can turn them into advantages that will help speed up growth.
To put it more simply... The disadvantages can turn into advantages!
Whether you are a startup CEO or long-time business owner looking to grow, be aware of these unexpected cons of business growth, so that you can turn them into advantages!
What Are the Advantages of Business Growth?
Unlike the disadvantages of business growth, the advantages are much more obvious. Not only that, we could go on and on about the seemingly countless advantages.
While every business owner has their own unique pros related to business growth, some of them that generally apply across the board include:
- Creating economies of scale
- Increasing the reach of their business' impact to help more people
Moreover, the pros of expanding are pretty straightforward!
Whatever your rhyme or reason for wanting business growth... If it's something you're willing to work for and you know it will benefit both you and others, then you should go for it.
How to Turn the Cons of Business Growth Into Pros
Now, we wouldn't just tell you the disadvantages of business growth and then walk away! That would be pointless.
Instead, like we mentioned above, you can turn the disadvantages of business growth into advantages if you play your cards right.
Think of it like this... When a disadvantage exists, it means that there is some potentially negative or unfavorable problem that is likely to occur during the growth process or as a result of growth.
However, if you're a regular here on the Business Growth Insider, you know that business problems are the root of every business solution!
Problems don't stand in our way of growing or achieving our goals. Instead, they are the way.
Without the problems, there would be nothing to fix. And if there is nothing to fix, then there is no point of business at all!
With that being said, you need to think of the disadvantages of business growth like you would any typical business problem... It's an opportunity for you to grow in itself!
Bottom line: Disadvantages aren't there to deter you, they are there to show you the way.
What Are the Disadvantages of Business Growth? (Unexpected Cons)
While the advantages of business growth are obvious, the disadvantages are more ambiguous.
At the end of the day, you need to be just as aware of the disadvantages as the advantages.
That way, you can turn those downsides into upsides to power your business forward!
Here are the top disadvantages to business growth that you need to know about to be successful.
1. Never-Ending Boxes to Check
Most business owners face many challenges on a daily basis. Much of the time, it can feel like there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things that need to be done.
Then when you add the responsibilities associated with business expansion on top of an already packed workload, it can turn a difficult situation into one that feels virtually impossible.
With that being said, if business growth is your goal, you need to be prepared to confront the reality of the increased workload.
While business growth sounds like a good idea to almost everyone, are you ready to add more boxes that need to be checked to your to-do list?
So many people want larger businesses, but they don't want to confront the reality of the increased amount of responsibilities that come with it!
However, we do want to make one very important point here.
While you are certainly going to have more boxes to check, the truth is that you are never going to be able to check them all. On top of that, checking the boxes ISN'T going to solve your problems!
All too often, entrepreneurs get sucked into a line of thinking that goes something like this... If i just do this, this, and this... then I will grow, achieve my goals, and my problems will go away.
However, we're here to tell you that, it doesn't matter whether you choose to stay a small business or grow, you will NEVER be able to check all your boxes.
Once you accept the fact that, when you solve one problem to climb to a higher level that it's only a matter of time until a new, bigger problem comes around, you realize that success isn't a matter of checking boxes to overcome challenges and achieve goals.
Furthermore, you need to not only accept the fact that you will have more problems in a larger company. BUT, that fact shouldn't deter you, because checking boxes doesn't equal success!
Accepting this fact will not only help you achieve rapid growth sooner, but also make you happier during the process!
2. Increased Competition (A Target On Your Back)
The higher you climb up the hill, the more people will see you at the top. And, the more people see you up there, the more who will see you as a threat.
It's simple: The more you grow, whether it be by increasing your market share or coming out with new products, the more your competition is going to see you as a threat to their own business success.
Therefore, you need to be prepared to deal with not only the pressure that comes with that, but the fact that they're going to start chasing you.
Before you know it, your competition is going to come out with an insane new marketing plan to snatch up new customers. And, not just any new customer... But your customers!
So, how do you deal with all the increased competition and your competitors wanting to get on your new level?
In order to combat your competition stepping up their game, you need to keep your product or service quality as high as possible.
One fatal mistake that many entrepreneurs make is, when they begin expanding, they notice their competition chasing them. Then, they resultantly try to steam ahead even further! Meanwhile, their product or service quality begins to slip as they're so focused on outdoing the competition.
Here's the thing: Get comfortable with the fact that the more you grow, the more your competition is going to up their game to get on your level. Therefore, you need to make sure that you don't let your quality slip as you and your competitors fight for market share.
While you might not see sales slip in the short term with decreased product quality, it will eventually catch up to you in the long term!
Then, business expansion will have been for nothing.
3. Straying From Your Business Vision
In addition to letting product or service quality slip, another place where entrepreneurs tend to let standards fall when growing their business is with their business vision.
As a reminder, a vision is the unique impact that a company sets out to make on a society. It runs deeper than just their deliverable product or service. Instead, it explains why they create what they do.
For example, while LinkedIn's deliverable product is a social network, their vision statement is, ‘To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce’.
So, while they connect people online, their purpose for doing so is to create more equity in society among workers.
Unfortunately, many businesses lose sight of their vision as they grow larger. They were focused on impact as a new business, but with growth they ditch that impact to focus solely on meeting certain metrics.
Their business plans are no longer about impact... but about numbers on a page!
As a result, they lose what makes their business unique and end up blending in with their competitors. Not only that, but they don't make nearly as much of a positive impact on society as they could!
If you decide to grow your business, don't let the day-to-day to-do's cast a shadow over your vision.
In the end, you'll only cheapen what makes your business unique. You may achieve short term growth goals, but in the long term you will be less successful.
In the game of growth, never forget about your 'why'!
4. Lower-Quality Customer Relationships
In the pursuit of a larger customer base, it's crucial not to forget about your most important customers... your current ones!
You can try to reach new markets or increase your market share all you want, but if in doing so you neglect your existing customers, it isn't worth it.
Because... Business is about building relationships with customers. And, if part of growing is neglecting your current relationships, then you have to ask yourself if it's really worth it!
By letting go of your current relationships, you could be setting yourself up for major disappointment!
Because, if you let down your current customers, then you could potentially lose out on the growth-related benefits that come with having strong business relationships, including:
- Long term business transactions
- Strong customer testimonials
Moreover, having strong business relationships with your current customers is a growth tactic in itself!
Now, maybe you're asking yourself... How can I grow my business without neglecting my current customer relationships?
Consider hiring more people in order to help cater to all of your customer's needs! With a greater number of employees, the more hands on deck to help keep relationships going.
Whatever you do, don’t let your current customers down or you’ll miss out on some of the greatest opportunities for growth.
5. Faster Team Member Turnover
Speaking of hiring new team members... When growing a business, not only are you going to have more work on your plate, but so will your team members.
As a result, it's only inevitable that you have a higher staff turnover rate.
While we might not want to admit it, unfortunately some staff members won't be ready to take on a heavier workload or manage the stresses that come with working for a growing business.
Therefore, you'll likely have several team members hop off the bus right when growth starts to get hot.
While this might cause issues in the short term, it can also work to your advantage!
Think of it like this... The greater your turnover rate, the more opportunities you have to check out different people with different talent sets!
Again, while it might cause you a headache at the beginning, regularly bringing in new team members can offer many chances for you to find top tier talent!
It's a simple matter of changing your perspective to see the benefits of the situation.
6. Loss of Control BUT Increased Accountability
This might be an obvious one... But as your business grows, you as the CEO will inevitably lose some control over certain day-to-day business operations and decisions.
It's a simple fact: While your business grows larger, you won't simultaneously grow more hands to control all of the new moving pieces!
If giving up some control freaks you out, then you're not alone! For some, giving up control over a portion of their business is like giving up control over their child.
However, one aspect that people tend to forget about in this situation is that... While you will have to give up some control over certain aspects of your business, that doesn't mean that you won’t be held accountable for them.
For example, you might put someone else in control of managing your supply chain operations. But, if something goes wrong with the chain and your entire business gets thrown off, you as the CEO will be held accountable for it!
As the business owner, YOU are ultimately held responsible for every single operation and result that comes out of your company.
Even if you weren't directly involved in how something turned out, you still need to be accountable for it!
Having such high accountability is often one of the most challenging aspects of being a business owner.
While everyone wants to be the CEO of a successful business, not everyone is willing to bear the burden of taking accountability for everything that goes wrong in a business!
Therefore, if you want to grow your business, it's imperative that you increase your mental strength in order to increase your accountability.
7. Not Having a Reason For Growth
Last but certainly not least... People almost NEVER talk about this final downside of business growth.
Before getting into it, ask yourself these two questions... To what level do you want to grow your business? Do you have a definitive answer as to why you want to grow it in the first place?
If you don't have an answer to either of these two questions, then coming up with good answers for them should be priority number one!
Believe it or not, but many business owners say they want growth but can't give any reason why they want it in the first place OR how much growth they actually want to achieve.
Even worse, some people don't have a reason for growth other than thinking it's what they have to do or is expected of them.
Bottom line: If you want rapid and sustainable business growth, then you need to have a reason for wanting to grow in the first place! Unless you have a reason, you will drive yourself crazy during the process.
Because, here's the thing... While business growth isn't complicated, it is challenging! Unless you've got a purpose for doing it, those challenges will eat away at your motivation on a daily basis.
Therefore, you need to have a genuine reason for wanting growth and a target goal to reach. It doesn't matter what they are, you just need to have some end point and purpose for wanting it.
If not... you're pretty much asking for early burnout and an eventual reversal of growth.
Final Thoughts on Unexpected Downsides of Business Growth
We're not here to tell you about the disadvantages of business growth to scare you away from wanting growth!
Instead, we're telling you about the downsides so that you can use them to your advantage… So that you can flip them into advantages to grow faster and more sustainably!
Every disadvantage comes with an equal advantage. And when it comes to business growth, turning downsides into upsides is all in your hands!
Don't let your business growth potential be stomped on by unexpected problems. Turn those problems into power to achieve all of your growth goals!
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