Q. That desire to get rich quick is the bane of small business growth. I want my business to grow gradually and steadily. Asked on Hightable.com by Mbanude Izuchukwu.
A. This is an excellent question, because so many entrepreneurs fail to take your attitude.
I think the best way to do this is to surround yourself with a small group of savvy business owners to act as an informal group of advisers. Here’s how to do this:
My business is leading such groups here in California. My groups–with no more than ten members–meet each month. You explain to them your business, your plans and goals, and your strategies, and they help in several ways:
— You present your plans to them. Doing this forces you to create plans that make sense, and that aren’t too ambitious.
— By having to explain your goals and strategies to them, they can keep you from making expensive mistakes. Sometimes you are being too bold, as you are concerned about. But sometimes you are being too timid, and you need to think bigger. And they will tell you either way.
— You help them with their problems in turn, and you learn just as much doing that.
— They serve as role models for you. You learn a lot by seeing how they solve their problems.
— If you think your problems are unique with you, they are much harder to overcome. But when you see that many others have dealt with the same problems, they don’t seem as overwhelming.
How do you find or build such a group? I would start with local business organizations, and look for those who have growing businesses, who seem savvy, who are willing to learn from others, and who aren’t competitors. The more diverse kinds of businesses you have, the better. The people must be trustworthy to keep confidential whatever is discussed in the meetings.
A group like this is a very powerful tool for growth, and for avoiding bad mistakes.