Estimated reading time: 3 mins
As your business takes off, you find yourself looking to the future and planning all these wonderful things that are yet to happen. But should you leave your past behind? There is definitely an argument that your past can slow you down, it can hold you back, and that it can even prevent you from growing. But, in business, is this really the case?
The start of your business journey is where you really figure out who you are as an entrepreneur and as a company. You find your niche in your chosen industry and find out who to grow bigger and better. The beginning of the road is a vital thing to remember as you move onward.
As your business grows, you might think that your mission should too. And in a way you’re right; your company will spread into different areas, will develop into something completely new. But the mission statement you began with is something that should grow with you and not be left behind.
Most mission statements for small start-up businesses are positive ideas that will benefit the local community. And why should that change just because your business is bigger. Even international companies like Starbucks put forward mission statements that have been with them from the start and are based on helping others and not just themselves.
You may have started out in a little town and have now moved to a big city – which is great and full of new opportunities. Working in a big city can also give your business some prestige, especially if it’s a fashionable one like London or New York. However, a lot of the time, the place you start out in holds a special meaning or memories.
It could be that you had great support from the local community, or that the area helped to influence the aesthetic of your company. A coffee chain (CoffeeLab) that is quickly spreading throughout the UK pays tribute to their flag store by hosting their barista championships there each year. You may have moved on, but there’s nothing stopping you from paying tribute to your origins.
Your clients will change as your business does, you’ll probably find that your clients will get bigger as you do – some of them will grow because you grow and vice versa. But you shouldn’t leave behind your older clients.
You might find that you lose contact with some clients over the years and you can’t find them when you look for them again. In these instances, you can use tracing agents to help track them down.
You will come up with hundreds of ideas over the first few years of your business, but you won’t be able to see them all through. Obviously, some of them wouldn’t have worked for various reasons – which could have been wrong timing, not enough money, not enough reach, or not enough time. But as your company grows, you will have the opportunity to revisit some of these ideas.
Make sure that you keep a record of all projects and ideas that you might not have had the chance to try, or things that just weren’t right for the time. Quite like when Nintendo brought out the Wii U out of sync with the rest of the gaming world, you don’t want to get the time wrong and lose a lot of money. So hang on to the good stuff and revisit them in the future.
When you begin your business, you are the main point of call for any staff and clients. You handle everything, and you are the sole responsibility for the direction of your company. But as your business expands, you might not have that power anymore. You may have gone public and now have a board to discuss ideas with, and you might have too many departments to manage yourself.
These changes are all typical for a growing business, but that doesn’t mean that you have to lose that personal touch. When it comes to your employees, you can stay in touch by holding office meetings yourself or by visiting branches regularly. With clients, make an effort to meet with them yourself. Even if they are dealing with someone else during their contract with your business, you should always greet them and deal with them yourself regularly.