Not everything in life needs to be big. Sometimes, reaching a certain level of height can drain your savings and become destructive to your lifestyle. Society may market the statement “bigger is better”. We seem to be obsessed with having tall buildings, busy airports, or large homes. This obsession with growth applies to businesses too.
Growth is not always good for an entrepreneurial venture. To survive and thrive as a growing business, entrepreneurs must change their business strategies and improve the way they run their business. If they do not change the way they run things, the odds of the business surviving the trials of growth are not very good.
Let this article illustrate the times when bigger is not always better.
#1: IN GROWING YOUR BUSINESS
If you grow your business solely based on your aspirations, you can create a business that is an intentional reflection of the lifestyle you desire. Remember that success in life should be so much more than simply growing a company and making money. Creating redundancies and having unnecessary complexities are just some of the consequences of growth.
When traditional large companies have a problem, they have to hire more people and build complex infrastructures to support more employees and processes. Thanks to the opinions and demands from board members, investors, and other departments, growth makes it increasingly challenging to get simple things done efficiently.
#2: IN SELECTING YOUR PROJECTS
Since you aim to be the biggest firm in Singapore, you tend to accept all the projects that come your way. One advantage of being small is having more freedom and flexibility in your work. As a small company, you are not enveloped with expectations and overhead. In contrast, bigger companies need to hustle to thrive and survive.
#3: IN INVESTING ON PRIVATE EQUITY FUNDS
When it comes to fund size, bigger is not always better. Higher fees put more money in the managers’ pockets, but that does not guarantee that investors share in the upside. Expectations for larger returns increase as investors pay more in fees. However, larger funds do not necessarily bring in larger returns.
#4: IN RENOVATING YOUR HOME
A bigger home means you must spend more time and money on renovating and maintaining it. By revamping the existing space, you will be responsible for the cost of changing the structure to suit your needs. You will also be responsible for upgrading the existing home to follow the current health and safety codes. Your budget will depend on how extensive the renovations are. Generally, the older the building, the more it will cost you to renovate.
#5: IN BUILDING YOUR WEALTH
Putting a large amount of money in your savings account may seem like the most practical thing to do. However, money held in savings accounts has not grown much in the previous years due to historically low interest rates. With inflation running high, your savings are at risk of losing value in “real” terms as you will be able to purchase less with your money.
For instance, inflation averages 3% over the next 5 years. What costs you S$1,000 today would cost you S$1,159.27 in the year 2026. Putting S$1,000 in your savings account today with 0.5% interest will earn you S$25.25 over the same period. Thus, you will inevitably lose about S$134.02.
#6: IN KEEPING UP WITH OTHERS
“The big question about how people behave, is whether they’ve got an inner scorecard or an outer scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an inner scorecard.” – Warren Buffett
Aiming for greater things just to keep up with the success of others is harmful to your wellbeing and your wallet. You can be anything, but you cannot be everything. When we compare ourselves to others, we often compare their best features against our average ones. The unconscious realization that we are not better than others can become self-destructive.
Instead of aiming to have the biggest funds, grandest home, and largest projects, you can realistically push for what works for you best!