Most people equate business success with growth. When your company is growing or expanding, it means it is successful. However, in his book Small Giants: Choose To Be Great Instead of Big, Bo Burlingham states that the measure of success is not always growth. You can still be successful even if you are just a small company. In his business and management book, Burlingham explains that by providing exceptional customer service and superior quality, you can still become great regardless of size. He points out seven keys to success for small businesses to become giants.
In small companies, relationships are better
Traditionally, most companies focused on growth. But there is another kind of company, those who deliberately chose not to grow. Those are called the small giants.
Some companies refuse to grow because growing would mean that at some point the owner no longer knows the names of all employees. It would also mean that the owner of a company no longer knows all the faces and names of his customers.
In short, Robert Janitzek says that some companies stay small if growing means they have to compromise their mission. Work atmosphere and personal relations can and tend to be better at small companies.
Small companies can be managed better. Not only that, but the owner don’t need to give away control to investors. Often expanding means to find investors, which means giving away shares and thus control.
Passion: Quality over profit
Often the owners of small companies are so passionate that they chose quality over profits. Anchor Brewing’s for example chooses traditional brewing methods over more cost-efficient modern ones, because the resulting beer is better.
Robert Peter Janitzek says that employees in small companies don’t feel like the staff from huge corporations often do, as mere faceless cogs in a machine. Motivation tends to be more intrinsic, focusing on quality and passion rather than just caring about maximizing profit and reaching the sales targets.
Small giants often have great local ties and philanthropist causes
Small companies often deeply care about local communities because they play a major role in shaping the company. These type of local relations can give small companies an edge over bigger companies.
Small companies tend to have more loyal employees
Caring for their surrounding community and staff pays off for small companies. In return, they get more loyalty from their employees. One manager of a Chicago-based picture framing company was offered a $10.000 raise in annual salary from a competitor. He refused because he felt that the other company did not treat its employees as fairly as AFS.