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Is your business the growing type? Part 1

Is your business the growing type?  Part 1

Would you start a business with no intention to grow it?

There are many reasons why an individual (or a group of people) start a business. For some, it is the sheer love of entrepreneurship, some have seen a gap in the market and have taken the liberty to try and fill it. For others, it is due to frustrations at a job, not finding a job or having been “let go”.

The reason or motive behind the starting of a business usually determines the potential size of the business, whether that business will ever move past self-employment (survival) state or not. There are different stages your business goes through that characterise growth.  The different stages are: Survival, Growth, Expansion and Maturity. The details of the stages of business growth are beyond the scope of this article (We will cover this in part 2). So we will, for now, jump from survival to a fully functional systemised business for the purposes of this article.

When your business is on the survival stage, you wear most or all of the hats in the business, hence I call it the self-employment state. You are the MD, the marketing director, sales consultant, product manufacturer, accounts officer, cleaner, receptionist and anything and everything that the business needs. The profits of the business are usually all utilised personally, buying groceries, clothes and other personal needs. There is hardly anything left for reinvestment in the business and sometimes, not all the business’ financial needs have been taken care of.

Some business owners stay at this level for a very long time or even indefinitely. Many factors determine why the business doesn’t shift to the next level of growth. One of the factors is choice and secondly, the inability to transition from one stage to the next. The choice to stay self-employed is influenced by the motive to start the business in the first place. In many cases, when the reason to start a business is because one hates his job, has been let go or can’t find a job, they are likely to stay at this level. Their reason for starting a business is circumstantial. It has nothing to do with business skills, the love for entrepreneurship or the desire to build something great. It is primarily and solely to put bread on the table. For as long that can be achieved, they are satisfied. There is nothing wrong with it though it comes with its limitations. This is not to say you cannot find people who started businesses due to circumstances and growing in this category, the likelihood is slim.

It is important to note that the above motives for starting a business however, do not hinder someone from changing gears and desiring more than just self-employment.

Those who are more likely to grow their business are highly motivated by their motive.  Motivation is intense when the reasons are beyond putting bread on the table. This determines the level at which one puts in effort to grow the business. When you are driven by your vision, even when turbulence hits, you are likely to survive the storm because something big is your driver.

‘Self-employment’ type of a business offers the owner the flexibility of times that most employees envy. It gives the business owner the freedom to choose the kind of a job they want. 

A systemised growing business however offers what the ‘self-employment’ offers and more in the long run. Once you have climbed up the entrepreneurship ladder, you reach a level of true freedom.

It takes a lot to climb this ladder and many fall by the way-side. The question is, where is your business and where would you like it to go? When you started your business, or thinking of the business you want to start, what are you doing it for?

What’s your why?


– Amanda Baloyi


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