When you own a small business, it’s often expected that your long term goal is to scale it larger and larger until you can retire and live off its continued profits. However, for many business owners that simply isn’t the end goal. There are dozens of reasons why you don’t want to grow your business into a multi-million dollar corporation, and there are so many benefits to staying small.
First, you remain in control. If you own a small, independent business you are likely making most of the big decisions regarding hiring, marketing, and sourcing yourself. You choose the hours it’s open, the promotions, and the campaigns that get advertised. When you scale your business you will become responsible for a lot more decisions and tasks. For some, this can be a downside because they enjoy the responsibilities of a small business owner. Suddenly, you’ll have to consider the employee packages for dozens or hundreds more employees and then come up with a system for promotions and grievances. These additional responsibilities are not ideal for many small business owners. Independent business owners enjoy the authority of making all the decisions for their company and growing means you’ll have to delegate those decisions to a team and potentially lose authority in decision-making.
Secondly, for many small businesses that cater to the grocery or retail markets, staying small means you can continue to source from small farm owners near you. Many small grocery retailers have increased their sales by only selling local produce, meats, and dairy. The new generation of shoppers enjoy supporting the people who grow food- not a faceless corporation that imports everything. When you grow your business, perhaps opening a chain of grocery stores, you have to source from larger farms. This can remove the face-to-face partnership and supportive relationships many have with family-run farms. As you grow, you’ll need to source from producers who can keep up with that growth.
It’s common for small businesses to be family-run and have a tight-knit team of employees who all understand the mission of the business. In fact, for many shoppers and clients, knowing that you are supporting a family business is a huge benefit of spending money there. If you’re lucky enough to have a family that wants to participate in your business, then growing too much can ruin that. Businesses that grow larger and larger will obviously require a larger team of employees and managers to run it making it less family-run. It can become a big company that all your family members coincidentally work at.
When deciding your business plan for the long term, you need to consider how big you want to grow. Obviously, any entrepreneur wants to increase their profits and income. However, are you willing to lose autonomy over your business to do so? In this day in age, it is completely normal and admirable to choose to keep your independent business small. You just have to decide what you want the future of your business to look like.