This blog originally appeared on the FULLSTART blog. Check them out for more wonderful and insightful articles from entrepreneurs and to find first-hand resources for business success.
Size matters—for some. Whether it’s having lots of money or growing a big business, we live in a bigger is better culture. But why do we think size matters in business? Most likely, it’s because we’re trying to meet objectives like reduced overhead, efficiency, and reduced competition. But if you dig deeper, you’ll see that those objectives are not always met when following the bigger is better philosophy.
Over the last 20 years, I have seen great ideas that flourish into ultra-lean, ultra-focused companies—known as Micro-Corps. Micro-Corps are run by people who are very passionate about their ideas (which I like to refer to as Idea Architects). These owners are more enthusiastic about their ideas than the corporate structure that contains them. Breaking the rules can be fun, especially when it turns into rewarding results. If you decide you’ve got a brilliant idea and are ready to have some fun while breaking the bigger is better rules of traditional business culture, get ready for business growth that is based on profit, rather than size.
The tips below stem from the concept of Micro-Corps, the smaller than small businesses with big ideas on operations, development, and business culture.
Instead of following a linear path when working on projects, Idea-Architects in Micro-Corps tend to have more flexibility to move from idea to idea. With fewer people, less project coordination is required. When delegating projects, make sure there is at least one person on the small team that can contribute creatively. Start small by placing project accountability with one person versus several. This will allow them to maximize the creative aspects of their skills because they own the project and will put forth their best effort.
Thinking “small” when tackling tasks, encourages employees to set their own individual goals. Working toward self-defined goals, rather than the objectives of a company, will produce a much higher sense of personal accomplishment, and lead to higher quality work.
Master the Craft
Idea-Architects are dedicated to mastering their craft, constantly honing and refining their skills in order to manifest their passion into the vision of loveliness they imagined. In a normal corporate structure there are just too many distractions to spend that amount of time actually working towards mastery—yet another reason why Micro-Corps thrive today. Invite employees to learn something completely different from their daily routine and apply the skills learned to their professional endeavors. Transferable skills and variety are indeed the spice of life in smaller than small businesses.
Though the amount of work and passion required to run a Micro-Corp is substantial, these benefits have produced a business model that has proven time and time again to not only generate substantial profits, but to be fulfilling and provide job satisfaction to those willing to put in the effort.
Unlike typical businesses, micro-corps leverage individual skills to enable ultra-lean business models to flourish. This means that you must focus on growing in profits, rather than in revenue. This distinction informs important decisions regarding resources, hiring, outsourcing services, and it forces companies to determine priorities and cut the fat elsewhere.
For their companies to be successful, idea architects must excel at channeling their passion and staying malleable throughout the ebb and flow of funds.