The Lifestyle Business vs. the Growth Business

Much like our characterization of Self-Directed vs. Management Directed Sales Teams, we have found that businesses themselves also fall on a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum is the Lifestyle Business. Some of the common attributes of a Lifestyle Business are:

A man sitting on a boat.

Common Attributes of a Lifestyle Business

  • The owner is keen on a work/life balance.
  • The owner wants to be sure their manufacturers and/or key stakeholders are happy.
  • The owner needs a clear line of sight to the 5-15 measures of the business to ensure it is healthy.
  • The owner wants the business to grow, but stability is the key.
  • Most of the sales team has been on board for some time and knows their roles and customers.

A lifestyle business is characterized by a strong emphasis on work/life balance, prioritizing the satisfaction of manufacturers and key stakeholders. Owners clearly focus on 5 to 15 critical measures to ensure the business’s health. While growth is welcomed, stability is paramount. The sales team, usually long-standing members, are well-acquainted with their roles and customers, reflecting the business’s stable and balanced approach.

The Growth Business with other common attributes is on the other end of the spectrum.

An illustration of a woman speaking with a megaphone in front of a group of people.

Common Attributes of a Growth Business

  • The owner’s main goal is to grow the business.
  • The owner has a clear strategy and goals.
  • Individuals have assigned goals and KPIs.
  • The owner needs a clear line of sight to the 5-15 measures of the business to ensure it is healthy.
  • The owner understands which products & customers generate the best return for the business
  • The sales team is management-directed.

A growth business primarily focuses on expansion, guided by an owner who sets clear strategies and goals. Employees have specific objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with these goals. The owner monitors 5 to 15 key measures to maintain the business’s health. There is a deep understanding of which products and customers yield the highest returns. The sales team operates under direct management supervision, ensuring alignment with the overall growth objectives.

Which Business Type can benefit from a CRM?

This leads to the question, which type of business can benefit from a Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/Sales Efficiency Tool? The short answer: BOTH.

The reasons are:

  1. No one business is purely on one end of the spectrum or the other.
  2. No matter the business type, each needs a clear line of sight to the business’s 5-15 meaningful measures.

Of course, since the Growth Business is more management-directed, they will likely have higher utilization of all the tools a robust CRM system can provide, like Activity Tracking, Opportunity Management, Project/Job Tracking, Goal Setting, Dashboards, Expenses, and Email Marketing.

However, the Lifestyle Business still benefits from such a system because it allows the owner to quickly assess the health of their business by quick visibility to the 5-15 measures of the business and being able to provide data to their key stakeholders AND their salespeople quickly.


Lifestyle and Growth Businesses, each with distinct characteristics and objectives, can significantly benefit from implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Lifestyle Businesses, emphasizing work/life balance, stakeholder satisfaction, and stability, can utilize CRM to efficiently monitor key business measures and enhance communication with stakeholders and sales teams. On the other hand, Growth Businesses driven by expansion goals and a management-directed approach can leverage CRM for more comprehensive features like activity tracking and opportunity management. This demonstrates that regardless of where a business falls on the spectrum, from lifestyle-oriented to growth-focused, adopting a CRM system can streamline operations, maintain business health, and achieve their respective goals.