Survival Problems vs. Growth Problems

Survival Problems vs. Growth Problems

What got you here, won’t get you there

As our business matures, it moves through new stages. The concerns in the early days are not the same as the concerns of Year 1 or Year 2. Opening Store 1 versus Store 10 requires a very different strategy.

In the beginning, we may forego paying ourselves to fund inventory. We may work 18-hour days, seven days a week, to meet deadlines. We may do the unscaleable to capture the attention of a buyer. We may undercut our costs, undervalue our service, or make ridiculous concessions to make the sale.

In the beginning, we focus every ounce of energy on building momentum. We have no alternative, no backup plan, and no safety net. The risk cannot be calculated – because it is everything. Survival is all we have.

In the growth stage, our problems do not go away, but they shift. They move to logistical concerns: too much inventory for our too-small-of space; making sure the right specialist is in the right location; fine-tuning customer acquisition methods because we know the shotgun approach doesn’t work; saying “no” to the wrong work because we understand the true cost.

Don’t obsess about growth problems when you should be surviving. Similarly, don’t let survival-era thinking hold you back while growing.

All the best,

-Shaun


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