We’re told as entrepreneurs that bigger is best, that we should concentrate on growth at all costs and that a key measure of success is turnover and the number of staff that we employ. But that approach can lead to misery, burn out and poor mental health. Here’s my own story about growth, expectations, ego and the lessons I learned as a CEO of a growing business.
There is much hype about how the UK’s small businesses are vital to growing the economy.
Often the big barrier to starting a new business lies in fear – how will I pay the mortgage, feed the family, feed myself etc.? Taking that initial plunge is a very big step.
We’re all told that a well-researched business plan is the key to success, but I wonder if we spend so much time on developing (and losing sleep) over the formal strategy that we end up forgetting to improvise and to enjoy the ride?
When I started working full time in my business Cause4, I had just two motivations – to be able to work on interesting projects and to get experience of running a small business. Four years on, we’re lucky to have grown well, but i’m suddenly being asked not only about our investment plans, butt whether we are considering an exit strategy.
It’s undoubtedly true that small businesses are the key to economic recovery, and the profile of small businesses is getting higher all the time through initiatives such as Accelerate 250, representing those six per cent of UK businesses that are creating half of all new jobs in the economy.
It’s a tough economic environment for all organisations at the moment – private sector and charitable sector alike. When Cause4 was set up four years ago, they knew they needed to encourage new ways of doing things.