Entrepreneurship in a growing business


The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into butterfly is not necessary if you're lucky on that one sheet you know well and ... if you do not want to propagate.

It is not the big companies that get all the attention from the financial pages of the newspapers that are the most important for our economy. The small and medium companies are more important for the creation of employment, innovation and for paying taxes.

Is there anything more fun for an entrepreneur than to lead a growing company?

Still, the growth of a business causes special challenges. There may be a growth crisis arising or a development crisis. These are very normal healthy phenomena. If handled well, the company only gets better.

At each new phase of growth the entrepreneur must go through a metamorphosis, not only learning new things, but much harder still, unlearning behavior that was successful at one stage, but that becomes an obstacle in the next.

With the entrepreneur, his/her closest associates have to change too. Sometimes they do not have the competencies to keep up with the growth of the business. Sometimes this creates major tensions if the associate is a family-member.

A very vulnerable period is the period of the transition to the next owner, be it in or outside the family.

In the Netherlands now 15,000 to 20,000 companies a year, need to be handed over. Many transfers fail because the entrepreneur is far too late to start the process.

Or would you rather keep the business in the family? Is that a good idea? How do family-businesses actually compare with non family businesses?

In this workshop or lecture I address the successive developmental stages of a growing business and the metamorphoses of the entrepreneur necessary to successfully grow to the next phase.