Build a Business That Works for You Using “Company of One” Concepts

Part 1: Is Growth Really Necessary?

In the book Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business, author Paul Jarvis shares insight to help business owners create companies that support how they want to live their lives. While the phrase “company of one” implies a one-person business, Jarvis’s book applies to businesses of all sizes.

This article is the first in a series that homes in on how contractors can use Company of One principles to guide their decisions, workplace culture, and customer relationships.  

 Are You Running Your Company—Or Is It Running You? 

In the first two chapters of his book, Jarvis shares some considerations for business owners to think about before deciding to grow their companies. Inspired by Company of One, here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  1. Will making your business bigger make it better? Will expanding it allow you to live the lifestyle you want? Sometimes there’s a tradeoff: Making more money may mean making more personal sacrifices.
  2. How can you improve your business without adding the complexities of “more”—time, responsibilities, staff, costs, funding, etc.? How can you leverage technology to do more with less?
  3. Is it the right time to grow your business? Do you have the infrastructure in place to handle it (sales team, accounting software, project management tools, work supplies, etc.)?
  4. What’s your definition of success? Who has achieved it and what can you learn from their journey?

A “company of one” mindset isn’t anti-growth but rather pro-growth if and when growth makes sense. Sometimes a business doesn’t have to scale to succeed. The above questions will help you determine if growth makes sense for you.

Next in our series: “company of one” leadership qualities and the nuances of growth.

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