Sometimes You Need to Take a Break

August 29, 2019

I subscribe to the notion that in business you’re probably either moving forward or moving backward – that it’s nearly impossible to stand still.  I don’t however, think this means you have to have your foot on the gas all the time, simply for the sake of wanting to think you’re “moving forward”.

In my work with the Business and Accounting Advisory team at Morrison I’ve worked on projects where the client put growth, fast growth, above all other priorities.  That’s a hard lane to travel in, and you’d better be sure you’ve got lots of working capital available to do it.  Growth for the sake of growth can be pretty inefficient with high employee turnover from employees who make a great fit at “growth level 1”, but not so great a fit at “growth level 8”.

Recently I had a conversation with a CEO for a project I’m working on.  We were talking about the current year to date financial results.  The results weren’t amazingly good, but they were solid.  Like most businesses there were some areas doing well, others not so much.  Some of it was internal, some external. 

I pointed out to him that by my observation the company had a history of moving in a somewhat consistent “growth step pattern”.  They would undertake large projects over the course of a few years, then once complete take another few years “off” to digest those projects and lay the foundation for the “next move”.  In this particular case I highlighted to him that between now and the end of 2020 we needed to be thinking about the “next big thing”, because by my calculation we’d be ready financially to have that conversation at that time and would have the capacity to take on another growth project.

For now however, we take a break from massive growth, resting for the next big move.  I believe the company is still moving forward, but doing so in a measured responsible way that positions itself well for the next “growth step”.

What is your business doing right now?  Are you moving forward or backward?  Are you trying to stand still, or just taking a break?

About the Author

+Geoff Chinnock is a consultant with Morrison, providing business planning (including budgeting, cash flow forecasting, and strategic planning), special projects, and has greatest expertise in interim/outsource financial services and special projects that don't fit into any conventional category.  You can contact Geoff directly at gchinnock@morrisonco.net or via telephone at (530) 893-4764 Ext. 204

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