The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone’s editors or publishers.
When you get into business, you might think you need to grow your business and make a profit as fast as possible, but according to members of the Rolling Stone Culture Council, there’s definitely one argument – or at least 12 – to assert. for slow growth.
Although rapid growth may seem like the fastest way to success, slowing down and taking your time may actually be the key to long-term sustainability. Below, each member explains a reason why you should opt for slow growth when building your business and why they think it’s the best path to success.
Slow growth allows mistakes
Slow is sustainable. Slow lets you make small mistakes so you don’t have to make big mistakes. It’s all about timing and planning. You need to focus on the long term, but have a plan to get you through the short term, because the long term only matters if you get there. – Graham Farrar, Glass House Brands
Building a credible reputation takes time
Reputation, reliability and even reviews don’t happen overnight. These are qualities in any industry that lend credibility to your business. Yes, it is possible to start generating profits quickly, but it is usually at the expense or exploitation of someone or something else. Smart entrepreneurs tend to look beyond that so they can create a legacy, and sometimes that just takes time. –Brandy Garcia, Cottonwood Wine Tours
A business needs a solid foundation first
Bright stars shine brightly, but they also fade quickly. A slower approach builds a solid foundation for longevity. A big, quick payout is incredibly tempting, but it rarely allows time to see any flaws in the plan. The solid base is the key. – Luanne Smith, Taboos and Transgressions
Business ideas need time to mature
One argument I would make for slow growth is that most business ideas are premature at conception and are still in some sort of incubation phase. Starting a business, in my opinion, is like giving birth to a child. You may yearn for your child to be something you’re passionate about, but until they’re mature enough to develop their own habits, attributes, and patterns, you’re just hoping. Time plus data equals profit. –Ryan Larry, Versebooks, Inc.
Being the best is better than being the first
Do it well or don’t do it at all. So many times there is pressure to be first to market, but isn’t it sometimes better to be the best than the first? Take a break and watch the competition. Let them flounder and fail while you learn from their mistakes. Then go to the market with a perfected offer and a staff that is not completely exhausted. – Cate Rubenstein
With speed, someone always suffers
Someone always suffers in a system built too quickly. It could be workers producing components in less than ideal conditions, the consumer whose cheap, quick-to-market product fails, the company itself facing social media criticism, or anything that precedes. Modern innovation is not just a great idea, it is also the ability to support that idea with sound ethical and environmental practices. –Jeffrey M. Zucker, Green Lion Partners
You must be aware of your resources
Understand and conserve your resources. Whether capital-intensive, logistical or human, your company can only function at the rate of its resources. Learning what pace is realistic for your business is key to long-term growth and survival. –Scott Thomas, Genetec Inc.
You will be able to better understand the impact of your actions
Many Indigenous cultures made choices by understanding how their decisions would affect the next seven generations. Slowing down can allow the company to understand how its actions will affect future generations to leave this world a better place than the one we found it in. – Philip Wolf, cultivating minds
Slow growth allows you to be agile
When starting a business, especially if you are a founder or a solopreneur, you play all the roles. In my case, it was a sales rep, account manager, accountant, audio editor, writer, designer, etc. Growth cannot be sustained without foundation, and each wave of expansion comes with its own challenges. Slow growth, especially in the beginning, gives you time to prepare, learn, and be nimble. – Ginni Saraswati, Ginni Media
It gives you the opportunity to create something better
With each new client, your ability to iterate on what you offer is increasingly tested. Your ability as a leader to see the fine details will diminish, and your time to spend on creative solutions and refining them will diminish. Enjoy being small! This is your best opportunity to create something better than what’s already on the market. – Michael Greig Thomas, Echo Base
It gives you time to solve the problems
Slow and steady growth not only allows you to continue to deliver a great product, but also gives you the time, space and energy to troubleshoot any issues that arise and to really assess what works, what does not work, why and to adjust if necessary. Too fast and everything could ignite. – Susan Johnston, New Media Film Festival®
This allows you to focus on your mission
Mission rather than profit is a good way to do business. It takes into account the well-being of a company’s employees and customers, but this can take time. This time is needed to prove that you are doing what you said you would do. You build trust by building a business that, through action, keeps its mission to its principles, which in this climate becomes a consumer requirement to make money. – Stephanie Dillon, Stephanie Dillon Art