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Business Roadblocks — Is Growth Our Own Worst Enemy?

May 25th, 2010 | Small Business | No Comments »

One of the reasons I enjoy being part of the KikScore is the fact that it is our own business.  Sure we have meetings and on big decisions we need to get a majority vote, but generally I can do whatever is in the best interest of the company. 

The flip is true for my day job.  No decision can simply be made.  I must first draft a compelling email, then create an attractive power-point presentation, and finally convince our legal/compliance department that I’m not the anti-christ (which is harder than you may think).  I would say that despite having a full-time job dedicated to creating new opportunities,  I spend less than 50% of time actually doing it.  The rest is overcoming internal process.

So is that what is really meant when we say that small businesses are “nimble”?  Is it that they don’t have internal machinations dedicated solely to preventing risk or is it because entrepreneurs are able to make quick decisions (and why they are their own bosses in the first place)? 

A better question is: can you ever avoid creating your own business roadblocks?  Every small company that is successful eventually becomes a larger one.  At that point, the larger company has a business to actually protect and risk takes on new meaning.  Certainly a small business doesn’t fret about risk as much, because they are “judgment proof” — meaning that if they are ever sued, the business simply packs it up and the owners move onto something else.  With a larger business, it can actually pay a judgment and risk means something (at least to the shareholders).  Perfect example is my day job.  10 years ago, it was a start-up with 3 employees.  Decisions were fast and the business grew faster.  Now we are part of a larger organization and our growth is a fraction of what it used to be.  On the other hand, we’re very profitable now (and were not in the beginning).  So risk means something to us.

What do you think…is there a way to avoid this?

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