Sometimes business owners make a well thought out, informed and conscientious decision NOT to jump into the pool with the likes of Richard Virgin or Bill Gates. Your immediate thought might be, “Why not? Are they crazy?” Well I can’t answer for Richard or Bill, but for other business owners, maybe not…
There are very legitimate reasons why a company’s owner might decide to stay small. Here are some of their top reasons:
- To maintain a personal touch. If you are the owner of the local neighborhood ice cream shop, you have more ability to serve the flavors your customers are asking for than the operator of a Baskin-Robbins franchise does.
- To nurture, mentor and grow your employees. Because you are small, the relationships that form between you and your staff are more in-depth and personal. Employees are often more dedicated, more passionate, and more empowered as a result of keeping things small. A positive working environment attracts more customers too.
- To manage more efficiently—and more effectively. Owning a small business gives you more time to manage everything, and because you are small, there’s “less” to manage. Your management is not only done to maximum effectiveness because of this, but also to maximum efficiency. You have more time to envision, plan, implement, and follow up by “thinking big” in a smaller way.
- To have more flexibility for growth and movement in the market. Just think of how much easier it is for a gecko to move around and adapt in a 10-gallon tank than it would be for an iguana. Because you are small, you have a greater capacity to respond to your market’s needs and a bigger chance of supplying exactly what your customers are demanding.
- To lower your risk. Obviously, a smaller investment takes a smaller amount of resources. Every business requires risk, you just have to decide how much risk you’re willing to take and then stick with it. You don’t have to take big risks to be successful. Keep in mind the old adage, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
- To have more freedom in location. A small business does not necessarily require a large space in the middle of a large city. You might even work from an office within your home if your business is small like mine as a professional writer. In this scenario, there is very little to no overhead costs and you can make your workspace entirely reflective of your own needs and tastes.
- To have more quality time for yourself. Some might think that if you’re a small business owner, you must always be working. Many small business owners even say that this is one of the major drawbacks to staying small. But just as the movement of “tiny houses” continues to grow as a part of living life more simply, so to rings true with going small in business. You make your own schedule; you determine your work-life balance and the amount of quality time you give yourself.
- To not become too rich. Wait, is there such a thing? You’re probably saying to yourself right now, “That would be a nice problem to have.” But think about it for a moment. The more assets you have, the more time and energy you have to spend protecting and managing them. Sometimes less of one thing gives you more of something else.
In the end, it is important to remember that quality matters more than quantity most always. Greatness is not measured merely by size. We all know that some pretty awesome things come in some very small packages…a wedding band, a slice of key lime pie, a pocket knife…