Building too fast could kill your startup – Do this instead

The opinions expressed by Antrepreneur contributors are their own.

The most important aspect of starting a new business is a clear vision for the future. The creative mission is the starting point for developing a business plan and everything else that follows. While a business plan is almost always focused on growth, entrepreneurs should consider the intrinsic benefits of starting small and how to let their small size drive the business toward sustainable growth.

Related: 8 Ways Your Startup Can Master Sales and Growth

Starting small is a learning curve

It has become part of the contemporary narrative that everyone must go big or go home. Every day, entrepreneurs experience their own personal “go big or go home” moment. The key is not deciding whether or not to go big or go home; start small and gain the perspective to know when it’s time to go big.

For fledgling businesses, it often gets small that prevents going home in defeat. If one is planning to grow a business for the long term, the best way to go is to start small. Even if an entrepreneur has the financial resources to start a large operation, growing it slowly but surely may be a better path.

Why? While there is nothing wrong with eventually going big, starting small paves a better path, giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to familiarize themselves with all aspects of their business. This in-depth knowledge ultimately transforms them into the kind of leaders who can effectively grow the brand and deliver a positive impact in every corner of the workplace. Understanding the details of the business allows business owners to find and fill gaps and devise both short-term and permanent improvements.

The agility advantage

Another advantage of starting small is agility. A smaller business has a smaller footprint and fewer cooks in the proverbial kitchen, so the model can change and adapt simply and efficiently. The ability to change direction and respond to changes in changing market forces is the key to long-term growth.

Agility influences the ability to grow in different directions, one at a time. Ways to increase a small business’s footprint can include, for example, brick-and-mortar locations or an online presence, an e-commerce portal, or all three. The lessons learned and skills developed as a small operation provide direction for what turns the business should take and how to get there.

Related: Everything I Learned From Growing My Startup to 10 Million Users With $0 in Funding

Get an edge over big brands

In the past, big brands have sought to acquire or replicate successful small businesses.

However, the sheer scale of large brands makes it difficult to acquire the same level of expertise that a small owner acquires through experience. Big brands simply can’t understand everything there is to know about an entrepreneurial business because they haven’t been on a similar growth and learning trajectory.

The struggle associated with starting a small business can only be truly understood by the person going through it. Starting small forces an entrepreneur in any business to face problems head-on and solve problems in real time as they arise.

Slow and steady earnings

Don’t believe the start-up mantra of moving fast and breaking things, because going slow and keeping everything on track is better for countless reasons. For example, careful construction allows a small business to collect and leverage its customer data. Acquiring, analyzing and acting on data takes time, effort and building a real understanding of your target market.

When it comes to building a customer base, that means being dedicated to building an engaged social media following of customers who are enthusiastic about providing feedback and key data.

Today, many business ventures that fill a niche envisioned by a new generation of entrepreneurs are likely to appeal to a younger demographic—so it’s important to address the social media presence of both millennials who follow Facebook and Twitter and and of members of generation Z who are the most. likely to scroll through Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

Related: 6 Tips to Drive Sustainable Business Growth

Over time, satisfied customers become social influencers and are a real asset in crowdsourcing potential concrete locations and product selection. In fact, social media is a source of data mining that applies to business decisions in almost all sectors. Most importantly, in terms of future growth, is the thumbs-up data vs. thumbs down driving sustainable plans.

Starting small and growing from within is the best way to build a business. Slow and steady growth helps entrepreneurs maintain a customer-centric attitude and focus on the core product that has helped the business thrive. It also protects entrepreneurs from diluting the core business principles. Instead of “go big or go home” and “move fast and break things,” entrepreneurs should start small, move slowly, then go big—and nothing breaks.

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