7 Reasons to Keep Your Business Small
I’ll admit it–I’m a bit of a contrarian. Most of the business advice you’ll read is about growing your business as big and as fast as you possibly can, but for the Do What Matters business, that’s not always the best plan. I believe in building a business like Goldilocks–not too big, not too small, but just right.
For our family, small is just right, because one of my core values is freedom. I want to lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty,* and the bigger a business gets the harder that is.
I started my business, not only because we needed income, but also because we believe it’s just common sense to have sources of income that don’t belong to someone else. I’ve kept it a micro-business because for us, doing what matters means living a home- and family-centered life while creating something of lasting value for those we serve, and work-life balance is essential.
So, why is micro-business better than small business?
- You maintain control over your business decisions. You can decide on new products or services and make policy changes without wasting time in meetings or having to go through a bunch of committees. If you want to seek advice from an appropriate professional, you can, but you can also make quick decisions and move on.
- You can avoid hiring employees by using family or other independent contractors for the services you need. You’ll be supporting other microbusinesses, avoiding a paperwork-and-taxes nightmare, and, with luck, working with people who are as motivated and independent as you are.
- You have greater control over how many hours you work, and the types of projects you take on.* With a smaller infrastructure to maintain (no external office, no employees), you can choose to focus on passive income projects or work only as many hours as needed to fund your Do What Matters life.
- You have a reduced chance of running afoul of nitpicking busybodies who exist to micromanage others (homeowners associations, county governments, etc.).
- You’ll never be bankrupted by the insanely unreasonable rules and demands of a labor union.
- You can keep more of what you make. Bigger businesses have much bigger expenses. If you keep a careful eye on tax rates, government regulations, and unsupportable mandates, you’ll notice they are mostly directed toward businesses above a certain size. Keeping your business and income strategically right-sized can reduce the percentage of your income that is wasted on the insatiable demands of bureaucracy.
- You can structure your microbusiness to fit what matters to you and your family, so you’ll be able to change and flex as much as needed. If your spouse is relocated, your child becomes ill, it’s time to put in the garden, or you have the opportunity to get a graduate degree or serve on the mission field, you can choose to fit your work to the needs of the moment, because unlike a large business or a job, a well-designed microbusiness can shrink and grow without damage. It can be allowed to go dormant and be revived, as often as needed.
* I Timothy 2:2
* Of course, it’s always wise to turn down projects with tact and grace, as you may want to work with the client in the future. Additionally, there have been cases in which small businesses have been sued for refusing to serve a potential customer, so be sure to cite a neutral, understandable reason such as a schedule conflict for declining a job, even if the only thing scheduled is your child’s soccer game. Kindness and courtesy are always the right choice.
And for the standard disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are not intended as legal or financial advice. If you have specific questions in these areas, please consult your attorney or accountant.