We hear about startup accelerators, business agility, lean teams, rapid prototyping, and streamlining – but is there folly in growing your business too fast?

Live fast, die young

Some speed is important in business. Launching your big business idea and getting it into testing is a vital first step for any small business. However, danger lies in the temptation to turbocharge the rest of your operations.

As a result, feedback and research can be rushed and teams can expand too quickly. Scaling up is a natural, resource-intensive process, which is best undertaken when your business is sufficiently operational – too early and it drains more resources than are available.

There’s also a human cost – hectic workflows lead to employee burnout, absenteeism and higher turnover. Simply put, the initial speed needed to seed an idea isn’t sustainable in the long run, operationally, financially, or physiologically.

The benefits of going slow

Thinking small to start with allows a startup to find its market fit more comprehensively and allow growth to occur only once a strong foothold has been achieved.

With slowness, time can be taken to weed out any technical errors, UX kinks, or logistical faults before they become overwhelming. Greater time can be built into the process for customer feedback, and the gradual refinement of a sales and conversion funnel. Internally too, workloads are made more manageable, quality of work increases, and morale stays high.

The finishing line

The entrepreneurial mindset is one that runs at lightspeed, but running a business is about balancing that intensity on one hand and an environment of stability on the other. There are plenty of great examples of companies that have grown their business to scale to meet the growing demand of customers, but when you’re just starting out it’s important to find the right balance. Balance it up for yourself and if need be, slow down – it may save you some whiplash.