A new article in The Globe and Mail Small Business section poses an interesting question: Is growth necessary or necessarily a positive thing for every business?
As the article, There's nothing wrong with staying small, points out:
"Keeping the company small is a choice for some. And it doesn’t mean these people aren’t ambitious or passionate about what they do; it has more to do with the fact that they have more than enough business to make a living, without the additional responsibilities."
Some keep their business small by choice, finding it more personally rewarding than running a bigger company with more employees.
The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute has found sharp differences in what matters most to small business owners as their companies evolve from very small entities to sizeable enterprises.
Among the compelling findings are that “personal freedom” and “maintaining work-life balance” – often key reasons why someone buys a small business – decline as the business grows larger. On the other hand, “creating opportunities for others” – an unexpected pleasure of running a growing small business – increases.
You can read more about this in my blog post: Do small business owners have more fun?
Knowing what matters most is something that individuals buying a business need to define. It’s important they clarify their skills, interest and experience, as well as their personal and financial goals before they start looking at any businesses.
Many business owners are happiest applying the technical skills that got them there in the first place – the mechanic who started a garage or a baker who opened a bakery. They are in their comfort zone. Dealing with their business vision, market segmentation, planning, process development, systems development, documentation, training programs, quality standards, sales processes and collateral, developing customer feedback mechanisms, employee encouragement, tracking systems and the like is not what got them started and it may not be what they enjoy. Yet it’s what makes the difference between a successful very small business and a great business that is poised for growth and highly saleable. The existence of these processes and systems adds great value to a business.
In the end it is a personal choice based upon the owner’s values and what he or she enjoys.
What about you? Are you still having fun in your business?