Small but strong

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Winterybella, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Winterybella

    Winterybella
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    Most businesses start small ( small is relative) and look to expand as the years progress. With growth many decide to open several branches and enjoy great success while others may be forced to close their doors. Then they are those businesses who choose to remain small and mighty when they have reached their particular goals.

    In business it appears that it's not always the best thing to "go big". Being able to maintain proper control of the business, maintaining that personal touch and having greater control of your personal life are just some of the reasons why some choose to remain small.

    What has been your experience? If you are just starting out, is it your desire to be as big as it gets or are you happy to be a proud small business owner?
     
  2. Onionman

    Onionman
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    My goal is to be small, lean and able to make good returns on what I have available. So I don't aspire to being big but I do have big aspirations. There are many successful individuals that don't have a big team underneath them and an array of resources. It's all about having the right balance.
     
  3. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25
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    My family owns a small store business, and it has been really successful so far. My parents were able to support my studies from preschool to college because of our business. However, I don't think they still have plans of expanding our business since they're already quite old and probably, they don't have the energy anymore for that.
     
  4. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint
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    Personally I don't really admire those companies that start small and grow with the pass of the time, sometimes beyond their own limits because they lose quality and perception of the reality at the same pace they expand and try to become into Jack of all Trades.

    I grew up being familiar with small business that built prestige upon being unique, no branches and no multifaceted, unless the nature of the business required it, as in example, being a small department store, supermarket or a little factory producing dairy products. Moreover, most of these businesses were usually family-owned, and running from generation to generation.

    Based upon such perception, I built a small home-based business that proved to be successful, but that failed when I tried to expand it by the turn of the century, forgetting my own principles on this matter.

    But this failure is more common than you think. I read an article about Gloria Jeans Coffees being successful longer before Starbucks or any other conceptual cafeteria, what inspired a small local business in Los Angeles to expand their own coffee business, but after 4-5 years of ups and downs, they decided to get back to the original project of sole family-owned coffee shop rather than using the franchise model that didn't work in their particular case.
     
  5. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee
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    I've always kept all my past businesses small and strong, as you put it. I was never interested in expanding as this was never my forte. I preferred to play to my strengths and always felt more comfortable managing small organizations. This is a decision that I've never regretted and I don't intend to expand and/or run a large business anytime in the future.

    A business does not need to be massive for it to be either profitable or a rewarding experience. In fact, small businesses have many advantages such as the ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions. Something which large enterprises struggle with.
     
  6. pwarbi

    pwarbi
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    There's certainly some advantages to mmkeepibg a business small, not least of which is the fact that you can manage every part if it and make sure it's bring run to your standards. When a company gets to big, that's when the wheels start to come off.

    A company that makes a small profit every day is still a success, you shouldn't judge success by how much money you make, and bigger isn't always better.
     
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  7. Winterybella

    Winterybella
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    Often with my retail business, when I did not have a size or a colour of an item or just could not satisfy a particular need, customers would ask if I had another branch or branches. There were times when I felt like I should have been able to direct them to other branch but I never felt that way for long. I've been happy that I remained the 'small shop that's big on service'. These days as I am winding down, I know I could have done things differently but I am still happy I did not over extend myself. In my very small market, I have seen too many retail outlets close their doors because of wanting too big a piece of the pie. Sometimes small is the right call.
     
  8. Nox

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    I'm always being tempted by the idea of going big, but my control issues seem to save me every time. I agree with your sentiment, about being a small business owner or as I would rather say a "niche" business owner. You have so much more control over your business. The other upside is that you are not in direct competition with big business, trying to compete with them could put you out of business.

    I am concerned however about being reliant on a smaller target market, sometimes this can make the bad times really bad. Fortunately I am still young and do not have very many obligations, but I am looking for ways that will help make my cash flow more consistent. Becoming bigger isn't always the best solution to the cash flow conundrum.
     
  9. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
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    I noticed from your profile that you are from the "Virtual World". here in the actual physical world, in the United States, there have been two companies, one of which I used to work for, the other I am currently working for. One was started by two men who were fired by their employer, and later built what became the #1 store of its kind in the nation - starting from only one location. The other was started from a family-owned business by one man, and became one of the most well-known, respected companies in it's field.
    In order to grow from one location to a large company, you must have a plan and know exactly how the expansion is going to occur. Just expanding, without knowing where you want to be and when, as you pointed out, can lead to disaster.
     
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  10. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane
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    I'm still building my business, and have no intention to grow huge. If the shops become successful, I might add some new types of products, but since I handcraft my items, that wouldn't change, and limits the number of items I can create. I'm not expecting to become a billionaire, and am not even interested in that. I want enough to survive on and have a stable income that enables me to work a little less than I do right now, as well as doing some things I'm not currently able to do.
     
  11. m0n2k

    m0n2k
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    It depends on what works best for you. If someone just wants to make a living than why not just keep it a small family business. On the other hand a visionary may want to build a empire, and reach for global efficiency. It all depends on ones vision. Some people want to make a good living, and some people want to build a empire.
     
  12. Winterybella

    Winterybella
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    In connection with some wanting to grow and expand too quickly I read recently that growth produces an atmosphere of constant change and places enormous pressure of every aspect of the business. Sales, marketing, production and all other areas are constantly strained in an effort to grow too quickly and with too much strain things will eventually snap.

    At the end of the day what works for Peter might not work for Paul. It's important to keep educating ourselves whether we are now starting out or we've been at it for decades.
     
  13. Master

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    Well, trully going big is not always the option. Sometimes, its better to be small & competitive so as you can be recognised by many as someone who is niche in his category.
     

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