The Benefits Of Staying Small

When you start your own business, there is an aim to grow. Perhaps you want to have outlets or offices all over the nation, or become a global corporation? Maybe it's about increasing the size of the premises you're in, or employing a team of workers?

Most networking groups and seminars you may attend, also tend to be focused on growth, on getting bigger.

While it seems an obvious goal to aim for, perhaps it's not the way your business should be heading. This article introduces the idea that staying small can allow you to have a better lifestyle and still be considerably profitable.

One of the perspectives is that growing a business comes with hurdles and setbacks. Growth means more staff, more paperwork, and the very likely possibility that where you had started to become profitable, you step into a place where you may be bigger, but your costs are exceeding your income.

You do know this will pass, you've been there before. Is it the way you want to go, though?

Another important element often discussed because of how essential it is for the survival is your niche. Niching is the idea of focussing your products and services to a well-defined, and relatively small group of the market. Without niching, you are unable to produce effective marketing and advertising, and you find yourself spread thin, or feeling a little scattered. Niching gives you a focal point and some direction. Growing can mean you feel forced into relaxing your niche, simply to bring more funds in.

The flipside is that you can niche down even further. You can remain small, remain faithful to your values, and probably increase your prices because you're producing something that is more valuable and more specific to your market.

It means you have the capacity to fine tune your focus. You are afforded the opportunity of flexibility, regarding your hours as well as keeping up with the inevitable changes of the business world. More than that, it allows you the ability to provide not only a better quality product but also unrivalled service.

That's not to say that growing your business should be discounted. Niching down may not be the best thing for your business either. Depending on your business, niching down further may reduce your market to too small a size, and growth may be a necessity.

What are your thoughts on staying small? Is it for everyone? Or is it a slow death for any business?

Sophie Andrews is the author of The Creative Collection, Director of the Australian Bookkeepers Association and CEO of The Accounts Studio, a bookkeeping and cash flow consulting agency specializing in working with creatives and entrepreneurs.

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