Many people never consider the struggle of the trees in an old forest. Trees spend their whole lives in competition. Each tries to out position the other in the pursuit of a little more sunlight to sustain the photosynthesis they need to keep growing to tower over the other trees.
The issue that arises is that much of the energy gained from photosynthesis goes toward maintaining the trunk. The drive of unrestrained growth creates a cycle that now demands continual growth.
Obvious parallels can be drawn in business. Companies continue to grow, because that is what is expected. It is what they’ve been told to do. Grow or die.
What if that isn’t true?
One business owner explained how his business made more profit as a lean team of six with narrow skill sets than it did when the company had expanded to more than 20 with multiple offerings. The reason why is easily understood. There were issues with capacity.
Not everyone in the business was performing efficiently. Offering multiple service lines means that some will outperform others, as more demanded services rise to the top. However, if underutilized services are kept in-house and not sourced externally, then there is certain to be an excess of downtime and overhead.
The solution is in sourcing valuable partnerships. Aligning resources to provide full-service lines keeps the business true to its core competencies and helps to maintain lower overhead.
By remaining agile, businesses can expand and contract at will to meet demand and avoid maintenance of unnecessary resources, freeing them up to rise above the competition quickly without servicing a trunk that slows them down from rapid growth. In some cases, it can mean the difference between a company that grows fat but falls short or towers above competitors.