Everyone wants to go fast, but fast doesn’t always win (see Aesop’s The Tortoise and the Hare as told through this classic Walt Disney cartoon).
Paul Graham outlines a basic truism for business growth in his post Startup = Growth:
For a company to grow really big, it must (a) make something lots of people want, and (b) reach and serve all those people.
First, your business doesn’t have to grow really big. It only has to be big enough. Now, you can define enough, but you have to be reasonable and responsible. But however big you determine you need to be, you don’t have to get that big in one year – or even five years, according to this Fast Company article:
…[N]ascent enterprises are more fraught than we are led to believe when we rely on success stories such as Facebook or Twitter to provide a picture of what it’s really like. Most startups struggle to consistently provide revenue and employment growth in the first five years.
I know, five years is a long time, but not really. During that time, you’re also learning how to be an expert, leader, manager, motivator, forecaster and all of the other roles you play as an entrepreneur. And that takes time.
Building trust and confidence also takes time. Your customers have to trust that you will deliver on your promises. Vendors have to trust that you will pay on time. Talented employees have to trust that you will foster a culture of growth and opportunity. And that takes time.
You can’t go from cashier to CEO in a year, so it’s not logical to think you can go from new business to national chain in a year. Wherever you’re planning to go, you can get there. Just be patient.
Jason Thompson is co-founder and principal of Jackson, Mississippi-based marketing and communications firm Fahrenheit Creative Group, LLC. A graduate of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi, Jason has spent more than ten years honing his design and development skills to be able to lead a team that crafts creative that works for nonprofits, government agencies and mid-sized businesses.