Growing Your Company

The Advantages of Being a Smaller Firm
by David C Baker


What better time to point out the advantages of being a smaller firm than when the industry is experiencing a contraction. All the more so since we have this strange obsession with growth, captured in phrases like "if you aren't growing, you're dying." You can't fit deep thinking on a bumper sticker, and that looks like a bumper sticker to me.

Part of this comes from an economic reality in which we expect publicly traded companies to not merely be as profitable this quarter as last quarter, but the earnings must be growing at a higher rate.

No, you're not a publicly traded company and shareholder expectations are not a factor, except for your own expectations. Those should revolve around a great work/life balance, doing honest work, and making good money. How that happens is secondary, and if you play your cards right, it's quite possible to do that as a smaller firm. In fact, you may find it easier to accomplish as a smaller firm. That's the introduction to the many advantages of being just that: smaller rather than larger.

A Dozen Reasons Why Small Can Be Good

Being small doesn't receive the sort of positive accolades that it should. Here are my reasons for at least considering it as a viable option:


I don't think we fully evaluate the dangers of growing too fast or being too big. Growing is dangerous enough—growing too fast is just suicidal. So whatever you do, recognize that growth never solved anything, particularly if things aren't quite right at the current size. It's always better to get it right at the current size, and then make a more considered decision about growth. If nothing else, you might be better prepared to face the implications of that decision to grow.

This article has been written by David C Baker. For more articles and resources, see

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