4 brilliant reasons to stay small in business

Whatever its real dimension, in a “society of one” rules, simple processes and solutions are affirmed.

Complexity is the order of the day in large companies, often the implementation of a business, albeit small, is slowed down by many changes of hand: approvals, revisions, meetings in which too many people often participate. Obviously, this does not happen if we stick to the model of “one’s society”, always keeping in mind that the basic rule is not to encourage growth, in order to stay fast.

Whenever we are tempted to add something, we should ask ourselves these questions: is this process efficient? What steps can I remove while keeping the final result valid? Does applying this rule help or hinder activity?

When a company is big enough

There is a kind of magic zone for sustainability, an area that I love to call “enough”: if growth is too accelerated, serious problems can arise.

There are four reasons that generally push companies towards growth: inflation (the increase in production costs pushes to increase production to recover margins), the pressures of the financiers, who want a return on their investment (still more when the capital arrives in the so-called  early stage , that is, when the company is still immature).

The third factor is the churn, the abandonment rate of customers: when it is higher than the acquisition rate, companies try to solve it by increasing the latter instead of working to resolve the reasons for abandonment. Yet, according to data from the E-consultancy / Responsys Cross-Channel Marketing Report, winning a new customer costs 5 times more than maintaining an existing one.

Prioritizing the acquisition supports growth, but it is very expensive. The ego is the last of the 4 factors that leads companies to grow: our society leads us to respect the people who own or lead large companies.

The purpose, shared with customers, is the founding value of the “companies of one”

To be successful as a “company of one”, you must be driven by a very solid reason: far more than a slogan, your business represents who you really are.

Virgin founder Richard Branson sums up this concept: “success in business isn’t just about making money, it’s about achieving a goal.” A very important thing is to keep the concept of purpose separate from that of passion. Passion is something that produces pleasure in us, purpose is a value that an entrepreneur possesses and shares with his customers.

William MacAskill, a researcher at Oxford University, has shown that doing exciting jobs helps develop passion, not the other way around. The definition of compelling work? What absorbs you completely, manages to keep you in the state of flow (being so taken to lose the sense of time). To obtain it, you need 4 key components: having clearly defined tasks, performing activities in which you excel, receiving feedback on performance and having autonomy of work.

The sharing of purpose that binds customers to the “company of one” leads us to talk about a very important concept: the relationship and customer care. In the past, customer service was considered a cost, and as such was subject to cuts. According to this old way of thinking, the automation of the service was legitimate, despite the frustration of speaking with a recorded tape.

The fact is that even if savings are generated at first, provoking customer frustration quickly leads to heavy losses. The new way of looking at the customer, based on emotion and simplicity, is proving successful: according to a McKinsey study, 70 percent of shopping experiences are based more on the way customers feel treated than on the tangible values ​​of the product.

The feeling of being treated exceptionally well pushes the customer towards the company, marketing coincides with the happiness of the customer: understanding his needs, motivations and desires corresponds to knowing him and serving him better.