When you read the newspapers, follow business news websites and Twitter accounts, or watch the business news on television, much of the focus is on large companies and aggressive start-ups with ambitious growth plans.
The vast majority of businesses are not like this, however. Instead, they are small businesses often supporting employment in their local area.
One subset of this type of business is the lifestyle business, i.e. a business that lets you earn a good living, but where you still have enough time away from the business to do other things.
Many people running lifestyle businesses sometimes start to feel pressure to grow the business. In other words, if they push a little harder and work a little more, they could move the business to another level.
If you’re running a lifestyle business, is this the path you should take? Or should you stick with your lifestyle business while taking steps to ensure it remains secure, competitive, and profitable?
Reasons to Grow Your Lifestyle Business into Something Bigger
If your personal circumstances or attitude to work has changed and you want to give the business you’ve created the opportunity to grow and reach its full potential, you should explore your options for taking your lifestyle business to the next stage.
Don’t take this path until you’ve fully thought through your plan, however, including weighing up the pros and cons.
Reasons to Stick with a Lifestyle Business
There are several benefits to running a lifestyle business – benefits you won’t have if you start growing your business to move it out of the lifestyle category. If all or most of these benefits are important to you, think carefully before making any dramatic changes.
After all, embarking on a growth path for your lifestyle business is not a guarantee of success. In fact, growing our business might result in it losing the essential elements that made it successful in the first place.
The benefits of sticking with a lifestyle business include:
- It’s less stressful – work-life balance has never been more important. For many people, the balance of earning a living with minimal stress where you are also your own boss is irresistible.
- You’ll have fewer commitments – another major attraction of running a lifestyle business is the fact you don’t have to work long hours. If you like your evenings, weekends, and the odd afternoon off, sticking with a lifestyle business might be the right approach.
- You don’t need to invest as much – growing business will probably require a financial investment in addition to an investment of time and energy. Your investment may prove lucrative, but there is no guarantee you will get a return.
- You can focus on quality rather than quantity – by focusing on quality, you’ll build greater loyalty with customers. This gives you more security and could lead to enhanced profits, without impacting on your current work-life balance.
- Your business can remain more flexible and agile – your lifestyle business is probably quite agile and flexible at the moment, so is able to respond to market conditions and customer requirements. You will lose some of this agility and flexibility if you grow.
There is no right or wrong answer to whether you should grow your lifestyle business. It all comes down to your priorities and ambitions.
For more help and advice with your business, including your lifestyle business, please contact us at Gilroy Gannon.