Much is written about growing massive companies, and becoming a world-renowned entrepreneur. Indeed, there are many challenges and exaltations to be had from building behemoths and becoming a Zuckerberg or Gates.
But on the eve of Small Business Saturday, I thought it would be a good opportunity to extoll the virtues of keeping it small and lean.
There are plenty of companies with less than 50 employees that are highly sustainable, profitable, and create plenty of positive impact in their community or industry. To remind people bigger isn't always better, I am providing three reasons you may want to keep your business a reasonable size and save the world changing for other start-ups.
1. Agility Big ships turn slowly. A small company with good resources can shift quickly to meet a changing environment. Large companies tend to compartmentalize the tasks so that most employees have a limited scope of capability. In smaller companies, great employees have breadth of capability. They can quickly learn new things or take on added responsibilities beyond their normal daily tasks. When the world reinvents itself, your business must do the same or it will die. A small business properly funded can move on a dime and adapt.
2. Culture A friend of mine once told me there is a theory that the amount of effort to move people forward grows exponentially--not incrementally--by the number of people involved. In other words, aligning four people is four times harder than aligning two people, not just twice as hard. With a small company you can maintain easy contact with the people in your company. You can know their names and easily share your vision.
If you do it right, you can more easily get everyone moving toward the same goals and objectives.
3. Control There are plenty of arguments in the entrepreneurial community about the merits of control in your company. When building a big company, control will be sacrificed in management and even ownership if you need to raise capital. Then again, total control can be a lonely experience--and focuses all the accountability on you.
If you are up to the challenge of making every decision, and providing all the resources then a small, lean, profitable business will meet your needs and let you reap the majority financial rewards as well.