I recently finished reading "Small Giants – Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big" by Bo Burlington.

I enjoyed the book, though like most of these books, you need to determine how and what you will apply to yourself.

My basic take-aways include:

  • Find a product/service that the market needs and is willing to pay for,
  • Build a company that is great at delivering that product/service,
  • Determine what you really want from the company you are building,
  • Let your growth be a result of providing a great product/service and building a great company,
  • You have choices: you can be great and stay relatively small or you can be great and become relatively big.

Make sure you choose correctly for what you really want and are capable of. Bigger does not guarantee you will be better or happier.  In fact, if you seek growth at all costs you could be worse off (lose control or fold). Sustained high growth levels usually demands a price on the owners as well; are you willing to pay it.

Here is a good quote from the book that summarizes these concepts:

It usually happens, however, when a company's leaders being focusing on growth or financial returns, not as by-products of a well-run business, but as goals to pursue for their own sake.

Important note: Small Giant does not mean you give up making money/profit. In fact, most of the sample companies are quite profitable. To me the question is; "are you serving your business or is your business serving you?"

Ultimately, you have a choice; big or small.