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Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

The tiny suburban cafe is full to bursting every day. It’s become more than a cafe really. The early morning cyclists punctuate the end of their ride at the tables on the pavement outside. Their last stop before heading off to work for the day. It’s the place where young mothers grab a takeaway coffee once the school run is done. Where the lone businessman catches up with his email, and tops up with espresso before he heads off into the fray.

The place is buzzing, they’re doing great, but they could always do more. They get plenty of helpful advice about the possibilities. You should do this and that. Why not open another branch? Set up a twitter account? Take SMS coffee orders? Open for dinner and on and on.

Yes, they could do all of this, or none of it, but how do they decide?

The husband and wife owners think about the story they wanted to tell in the first place. About being a community cafe where people come not just to drink great coffee, but to feel that they belong. And they choose. They choose not to scale because scaling will take them away from their vision and further from where they wanted to be. They decide that they are not willing to sacrifice joy and fulfillment for growth.

They choose because they understand what will take them closer to their goal.

There are a thousand and one tactics you can use to grow your business, but each one is useless unless it aligns with your strategy and keeps you on the road you want to be on.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

You get to choose the story you tell.

Image by Peter Morgan.

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