Remember when your granny (or mama or daddy) said you were getting too big for your britches? That usually meant you were moving too fast, getting into things you weren’t ready for, and headed for trouble. Maybe it even meant you were mouthing off a bit. Well, guess what? You can get too big for your britches in business too. In this case, however, you’re headed for more than a timeout (or a whooping, depending on when and where you grew up). In this case, you might just be heading for disaster.
Too Much Quantity, Not Enough Quality
The orders are rolling in, and you’re happier than a pig in a puddle of mud. But the thing is you can’t churn ‘em out so fast and keep an eye on quality. So what do you do? You start focusing too much on the quantity and letting the quality fall way too low. Guess what? This is a huge sign that you’re getting too big for your britches.
Too Much Demand, Not Enough Supply
So, you have plenty of orders to celebrate, but the demand begins to overwhelm the supply. This might sound like a good thing at first, but if you can’t supply your customers, they’re sure to go looking to someone else who can. And the problem might not stop with you alone. When demand gets out of hand, your vendors may have trouble keeping up as well. Either way, you’re busier than a one-legged prostitute trying to run down an escalator, and you’re certainly headed for a nose dive.
Too Little Money
This is one of the most obvious signs of growing too big for your britches. You have a million things to pay for—from supplies and materials to electricity, Internet service, and salaries. Oh yeah, and your little 15 year old princess looks like she’s got two or three extra teeth growing out of the side of her mouth. Don’t forget about the braces you know you’re going to have to pay for if you ever plan on getting her married off. Your business is growing like crazy but you’re too poor to pay attention much less make payroll and cash your own check. If you’re having to borrow from the bank, Aunt Jen, or those handy dandy credit cards to keep your business afloat, you’re headed for trouble.
Customer Satisfaction Sucks
Your customers are a gauge for your business growth. You want them happy as a bunch of pigs when they see you coming with the slop bucket. If, however, they are feeling neglected, disrespected, or just plain pissed, you’re already on your way to a world of hurt. And if it’s not just a cranky pants or two but a significant number of customers you’re pissing off, you have a problem you need to fix fast. Remember, it’s way easier to keep a client than to land a new one (cheaper too!).
As a business owner, you never want to grow your business so quickly that you can’t turn out a quality product. And running out of money to fulfill your obligations is just plain dangerous, especially if you own a construction company and your nicest employee looks like the Incredible Hulk. Avoid this issue with a solid business plan that incorporates a solid financial plan that keeps you on track for slow but steady growth. Keep in mind what my old buddy Aristotle said. “Quality is not an act, it is a habit.”
You got something to say or are you just sitting there looking pretty?–Charles Strickland, 2016
Charles is far from your typical business person. He’s always ready with big ideas and the initiative to back them up. Heck, at age 13, he started his own window-washing business and sold donuts door to door. And let me tell you, when you grow up in the woods of Georgia, the doors are miles away from each other. He did this all while helping his dad run one of the larger moonshine stills in Georgia. “Oh, those were the days.”
Charles, a devoted husband and father, has been building legitimate businesses since the 80s, including three successful contracting companies. He even tried out a personal and business bankruptcy once. That hurts. Don’t try that one out; it’s no fun.
Committed to helping others, he also put his considerable experience to work founding The National Aids Awareness Center, spearheading The Children’s Wish Come True Foundation and running Hope 4 the Homeless. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? Well, Charles wasn’t finished yet. He heard a voice (his wife’s ) say, “Move away from there! Michigan is the place you ought to be.” So they loaded up the truck and moved very slowly… toward big houses, cheap money and plenty of it. So somehow, he found himself in the mortgage business. Like Charles would say, “Now, that was a hoot.”
Always looking for something fun and profitable with one of the smartest women in the USA by his side, it was time to jump into the world of digital marketing, and the timing was just right. You will find Charles at different networking events promoting Michigan Marketer, which he co-owns, along with the other online publications he owns and operates with his wife.
Never content with being ordinary (because that’s just plain boring), Charles also teaches a class on entrepreneurship a couple of days a week at a private school. He brings a little bit of down home to everything he does, cracking epic jokes while he’s closing the big deals. Charles’ motto is “Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself.” Send Charles a message at Charlesfstrickland@gmail.com if you’ve got something to say.
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