Is Growth Always Good? Enlightened Thoughts from Custer

Is Growth Always Good?

Many business leaders make the argument that a company either “grows or dies”, or that “bigger is better.” They focus on growth, through rapid expansion or acquisition, and succumb to the pressure of Wall Street. But, if you’re privately held, how fast should you grow, or should you even grow at all?

In the compelling book, Small Giants, Bo Burlingham takes a deep look inside 14 privately held companies, in widely varying industries, that have chosen to become great at what they do, without a primary focus on growth. There’s even a non-profit organization now dedicated to the small giants concept:

These small giants have several common traits: they are utterly determined to be the best at what they do; they have made a conscious decision to reject raising capital, growing quickly, acquiring other companies, or expand geographically.

By taking this road less traveled, these small giants have preserved their entrepreneurial spirit, kept they original company culture; continued offering high quality products and/or services; maintained close ties to their customers and suppliers who like the personal touch of a small business; they treat their employees well, and keep them working together as a team for their mutual success.

As Burlingham states: “The bigger you get, the harder it is to preserve that passion. In business, it’s easy to confuse size with greatness. Companies of all sizes can be great.”

So, as you look ahead to 2018 and beyond, the question is: What kind of company do you want to become? Bigger, better, or both?