Growing a Small Business


A friend of mine was nervous to expand her shop to another neighbourhood. In her mind replicating her model seemed to be the only real way to grow her business. Right before she was about to sign the lease, she had a bad feeling about the landlord and decided to back out.

She called me. We went on a long walk and all she could think about was expanding. Then I asked her why she doesn’t just try to get better instead of bigger and she looked at me with confusion.

When you expand a business, your time is split in half. There’s no more time to do the art that you love. You become a manager and the business becomes about operations. If you don’t enjoy management or operations you might be in for a surprise. But if doing your art makes you happy than why not do that. Growth doesn’t have to mean expanding, it can mean getting better at what you do, at telling a better story and becoming more expensive.

Bo Burlingham wrote a great book about companies that choose to be great. Also Bernadette Jiwa’s new book is coming out this month. If it’s anything like her other ones it’s worth buying it now.

Also published on Medium.

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