Is Bigger Always Better?
As a business owner, I can’t count how many times I’m asked, “How big is your company?” While this common question seems to make sense during a ‘getting to know you’ type of conversation, the answer isn’t as simple as the question.
Defining the size of a company is arguably up for interpretation. ‘Size’ might refer to the number of employees on staff or the number of clients on the roster. It could reflect the amount of revenue the company generates or the amount of office space the company inhabits. All of these are solid measurable references, but on a more philosophical level, what if the size of the company is determined by the accomplishments and experience of the employees that do the work?
At some point, every business owner must think about whether they grow their business or maintain status quo. Popular belief is that in order to increase revenue, employees must be added. While adding staff can obviously provide resources to serve clients, it can also add overhead. If you have more people on your payroll, you obviously have to increase income. You need a place for employees to work and equipment for them to work on. Seems like common sense, but it all adds up.
That isn’t to say that increasing staff isn’t at times necessary, but adding bodies for the purpose of making the company ‘bigger’ is not necessarily going to increase the value of your company. The following can make your company rise to the top without drastically reducing your reserves.
Build Your Brand – A brand drives the experience clients have when they engage with your business. A business might be small, but that shouldn’t limit goals. Having a solid brand (name, visual identity, website) speaks volumes about the value of the company while increasing awareness also increases the perceived size of the company.
Maximize the Talent of Your Talent – According to Gallup research, people who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged, perform better, are less likely to leave and boost your bottom line. Making the most of the talent in your own company will position you to be a leader in your industry and spur the growth of ideas and innovation within your company.
Keep Your Clients Happy – Seems obvious, right? This is probably the most important thing you can do to grow your business. Happy clients not only remain clients, they often tell others about your great work. This type of peer-generated promotion can often go further than being on the Jumbotron in Times Square.
Add Staff Without Adding Staff – Need an expert but can’t really afford to make them a permanent member of your staff? A great freelancer will be experienced with a lot of different businesses and they bring those skills to your shop. A stable of experts expands a company’s skill set while keeping overhead costs low, which can be passed along to clients.
Be Social – Finally, don’t forget to focus on social networking sites. A company with 20,000 fans will seem more significant than one with 500 even if both companies have the same annual revenue.
Elon Musk said, “I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done.” There are no hard rules to define what makes a company ‘big’, but no matter the real or perceived size of a company, it must have value. This value is what truly defines the size of a company and how it will impact an industry and the world.