"Slow and steady wins the race." That’s the lesson from the Aesop’s Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and it’s also wise advice for entrepreneurs trying to build a business. While overnight successes may get a lot of press, long-term success stories often come from perseverance and slow growth.
When you’re starting a business, you need to build a strong foundation. Aiming for speedy growth instead can cause you to skip some of the fundamentals, including putting in place the protocols and procedures that lead to steady, long-term growth. Companies that take the high-speed route often leave themselves vulnerable to being outflanked by savvy competitors. All the fast growth that looked so exhilarating for a short while can end up dissipating as quickly as it built up. You may run into trouble if your demand exceeds your supply, and you may say yes to opportunities that ultimately not in your company’s best interests, all to pursue a little extra cash or publicity.
A slow growth philosophy also helps you plan for the long-term. Especially in industries that change constantly, like technology, the temptation is to bounce from trend to trend, but doing so can lead to disaster. If you’re thinking five or even 10 years into the future, you can make wise decisions about which products to develop and create smart development and marketing strategies to get you where you want to go.
A slow growth philosophy is also beneficial to your employees. Fast growth often means entrepreneurs put in 60 to 80 hours a week, sacrificing their daily lives for their businesses. This amount of effort just leads to burnout. If you like and care for the people you work with, why would you want to cause them this kind of stress? And if your employees provide a valuable service to your company, why would you want to destroy resources so cavalierly? Slow growth lets you keep employee morale high and leads to greater employee loyalty.
Focusing on the fundamentals of building your business with a slow growth philosophy allows you to make wise strategic choices and keep employees loyal.