After 35 years in the engineering and construction business sector, I have come to learn that not all growth is good.   In my early years I was taught from my many mentors and frankly indoctrinated to believe that in business, you were either growing or dying.  Drinking the cool aid, I pushed for growth in every small business I was a part of in my early years.  Looking back, I see that this philosophy caused me to launch into services that I did not need and clearly caused me to take my eye off of the core businesses that paid the bills and salaries.  Despite my misgivings, I was blessed to succeed even if by luck.  In my latter years, I worked for a public entity that I truly enjoyed…for a while.  It was only after a large acquisition that the firm found itself in too much debt and unable to invest in the core businesses that enjoyed the largest profit margins.  It was then that I learned the phrase… the beatings will continue until the moral improves.  Growth can be a good thing especially if it is focused on continued improvement, learning from our mistakes and growing from within.  If you are a small business in the construction industry, you are in a business that is heavy in equipment and supplies with big cash flow needs.  Grow the business for sure but think hard and long before you get out side of your comfort zone and core business.  Some may not enjoy the luck I did.

Brent Chambers