This was the subtitle of a book I was reading this morning: “Speak Human: Outmarket the Big Guys by Getting Personal”. Here’s an excerpt:
Small businesses in the United States alone “produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms” and “create more than half of nonfarm private gross domestic product.” They’re a huge economic driver, and they add to the cultural fabric and diversity of our communities. But for some reason we tend to think they should all try to get bigger. Systemize, grow, franchise, retire, and get a boat somewhere; is this really all there is to business? Grow as fast as you can and push everything else in your life aside in order to be rich in retirement? I don’t know, it all seems so… hopeless. Do we really benefit by sacrificing all the great things we have today just for financial wealth in our old age? Clearly, there’s more to living a rich life than a large number attached to one’s bank balance.
I’m of the mind that small businesses are actually much better equipped to excel than many of their larger counterparts. What’s the perfect size for you? What do you want out of your company? Given any option, what would you prefer to actually do all day?
If you’re in it for the rush of growing the biggest thing you can, great. I think you should do it, and I appreciate the rush you’ll experience. On the other hand, if you want some balance, or simply enjoy the work and the people you get to do it with, size may not be the only thing to concern yourself with. More than that, there are advantages to being small….
I strongly agree with this statement. Big is great if that’s what drives you. If running a big multinational corporation is your goal, then going big is the way to get there. A long time ago, when I was in my 20′s, I thought growing my graphic design business was my goal. That is, until it actually started to grow. I then realized that I was spending less time doing what I truly love, and more time doing what I don’t.
Size doesn’t determine success. Success is measured by your own parameters. And big doesn’t mean better. Being a small company gives you a tremendous opportunity to personally care for the needs and goals of your customers. This can make small much more effective in reaching your goals of success.