Is growth always the right focus?

Management & Growth, Planning, Videos,

We talk about helping businesses grow, and work with lots for whom that is their target, but is it always the right thing to push for? Watch this to find out!


Hi and welcome to another episode of BaranovTV, designed to demystify the world of accounts and tax, and to help your business grow.

Recently, we’ve had quite a long conversation with one of our Outsourced FD clients.

We’ve been working with him for almost a year now and most recently have been helping him build a model that will show how the business is going to progress from where it is now, to where he wants it to be by the time he looks to sell it, between five and eight years time.

The phone call that we had was a bit of a surprise, I’ll be brutally honest, because all of the conversations have been around growth and pushing and developing, and recruitment and finding more clients to have on retainer and all of those sorts of things.

And the call was, essentially, “I don’t know that I want to do this anymore.”

And it was almost a bit of a confession and looking for support and almost looking for reassurance, I suppose, that that was okay.

The reason I wanted to tell the story today, really, was because this client had a pretty tough couple of years, personally as well as far as the business was concerned, and, essentially, there is no reason why there is anything wrong with them changing their minds.

As business owners, the beauty of that is the fact that we make our own choices.

We can make our own decisions so we can decide to push for growth and to really push hard, make all the sacrifices and put the business first and go for that big number in terms of profit or turnover or whatever it may be.

Equally, we have the choice to say, “That’s not for me.” Or, “That’s not for me anymore.”

That’s what we did with our first business; we decided that we’d had enough. We wanted to be able to put our lives first, and our families and friends and things that we wanted to do, rather than having all of that play second fiddle to the business. And, at the time, we were quite concerned that people would think that we were mad; we had a growing business, a successful business, and surely the thing to do was to keep pushing.

But for us, it wasn’t, and isn’t necessarily the case for everybody either.

Growth can be great but you do need to give a lot of sacrifices and you do need to make sure that you can continue that momentum over many years.

But the greatest luxury, as I say, is choice, and if you choose to change direction, if you reduce significantly your overheads, etc, you can find that you can make as much money in terms of profit from a much smaller business, a much more focused business, than you are making with the big business with the big machine and lots of overheads, etc as well.

So what you need to do, if this is something that’s in your mind as we come towards the end of a year that has been really hard, if this is something that’s going through your mind, what you need to do is start to think about what you want and what you need.

Now, what you want is in terms of how much effort you want to put in, where you want your focus to be.

What you need is more around the financial impact that it may have of the change of approach.

And what you need is to be able to maintain the lifestyle that you want so you need to think about how much money you need to get to provide for you now and for you in the future, and then you need to work that back to see what type of business you need to have that will enable you to bring that money home.

If you can scale back drastically, be far happier and still maintain your lifestyle or maintain the lifestyle and the income that you need, then it absolutely is your choice.

If you can’t quite maintain that lifestyle then there may be a bit of a compromise between plan A, which is the growth, and plan B, which is the smaller business.

But, ultimately, there are ways around it and if you do have these sorts of thoughts in your mind right now then please do get in touch because this is something, a), we’ve done, but, b) we’ve also taken clients through in the past and we can, yes, I say at the beginning of every episode, ‘to help your business grow’, but equally, it’s to help you grow as a person and as a family and everything else.

So if we can be of help and support if you are thinking about changing direction then please, as I say, do get in touch.

We’ve never been happier. We are as comfortable now as we were then. We’re a lot happier and I would recommend that anybody who’s not sure of making those long-term sacrifices really sit down and give it some thought, particularly over the coming weeks when, hopefully, there’ll be a bit more head space to give those sorts of things some thought.

So I’ll leave you with that and I’ll see you all very soon.

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