If you’re already established or indeed if you’re a budding entrepreneur then I suppose it’s only fitting that shows such as Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank would be amongst some favourite sources of inspiration and motivation. In addition to it just being a lot of fun to watch people you in a sense can relate to and aspire to, when the ball is rolling then such shows can be very educational to anyone running their own operation.
Oftentimes entrepreneurs seeking some funding in exchange for the equity they’re willing to trade are given some sage advice to not really seek to expand their businesses through the intended channel of giving away equity for funding. This is mostly because these particular businesses take more of the form of lifestyle businesses and as is the norm with typical lifestyle businesses, they have a natural size at which they operate optimally.
The founders usually make some good money while having some good fun along the way, affording them a relatively comfortable life which has them generally experiencing a positive growth trajectory, to the point that they even manage to build up some good savings. What business owners of these kinds of businesses should probably rather look into instead of looking to expand further, is perhaps some collaboration with other businesses and industries to scale up their operations by bumping up sales.
Some businesses can only grow to a certain size, at which optimal natural size it should become all about customer retention and repeat business with an existing set of customers. Any new clients who join the party should be seen as a bonus addition.
Embracing the natural size of a lifestyle business in this way can go a long way in bringing some integrity back to the business world in general – integrity which seems to have been tainted by years and years of a singular focus on growth and profit. I mean in the corporate world and in the typical corporate structure, it’s all about pleasing the shareholders and what that means is that the growth and profit charts are generally pointing upwards.
Growth can only go on for so long though – at some point the birds are going to have to come home to roost and that’s usually when businesses which expanded way too much, too quickly start getting exposed and find themselves going through all manner of panic-inducing downsizings and the likes.
At the end of the day, going into business is definitely about making money, but more entrepreneurs should take a leaf out of the likes of family operated pest control business, Empire Pest Defense. What is demonstrated here is that success in business is a two-way street – you offer a service or sell products solving a very real problem in exchange for the value you get through the monies generated and if that relationship is facilitated via a lifestyle business, there’s really no need to try and grow to what would ultimately turn out to be an unnatural size.
If you really must expand your lifestyle business then perhaps look into franchising, but not every business’ path has an IPO as its final destination.