It does seem rather strange that managing the growth of a business is much more difficult than just carrying on doing the same thing with no growth. It is probably rather like cycling; it is much more difficult cycling downhill because things can get out of hand and it requires for more skill than cycling uphill or along a flat when you just have to keep going with very little skill involved.
As business grows, particularly if it is rapid, it is really difficult to balance everything. More staff, bigger premises, more computers, telephone upgrades possibly an exchange, with your initial ideals i.e. personal and quality service in a particular collaborative environment. Inevitably things get out of kilter you start spending a lot more on premises or staff or both before you actually have got the cash to cover those costs. So, this is not rocket science, you are never actually any better off.
I recently listened to the Marketing Director of Jaguar cars speaking and his problems were exactly the same although of a much greater magnitude. Jaguar is extremely successful earning millions of pounds of profit a year but to stay competitive they have to use most, if not all of that profit in developing new products and keeping an eye on the competition. They are as much on a roller coaster as I am, or is it a treadmill.
There is a tendency to be pushed into getting bigger and bigger and certainly in the legal profession all around me I see mergers and take overs and local firms being swallowed by larger companies who only want the big work. The Co-op seem to be trying to appeal to any individuals who feel left by the wayside in this expansion but I doubt that you will get personal service, merely someone on the end of the phone who will not necessarily be the same person the next time you contact them.
So I am certainly left wondering whether bigger is always better.