Is growth necessarily good?

The answer to that depends on what it is you are growing. Is it your billings? Is it the size of your staff? Is it your own talent and skills? Is it the talent of your team? Is it your profits? Or is it your overdraft?

Many companies measure success by their billings growth. In fact it is remarkable how many define their success by telling me that they have doubled their billings this year, or they are billing more this quarter than they were in the same quarter last year. Is it their company mission to increase billings? OK then. But what about a mission that aims to improve the quality of the creative work? Or one that aims to make a bigger profit. These measures may be much more important to consider.

More profit can in many cases come from reducing overhead and concentrating on your successful business lines, which in many creative companies means the more profitable creatives. Yes, shrink your way to success. Less can be more, and it can be a smart decision.

It is true that greater billings may also lead to greater profits, but it ain’t necessarily so – unless you are only losing only a small amount on every job and you are making it up in volume. (Can this be right? Ed.)

So before you blindly worship the great god of growth, ask yourself a few pertinent questions – or have someone objective come in and ask you these hard questions – and decide what you should really be growing.