What if the real key to a richer and more fulfilling career was not to create and scale a new start-up, but rather, to be able to work for yourself, determine your own hours, and become a (highly profitable) and sustainable company of one? Suppose the better—and smarter—solution is simply to remain small? This book explains how to do just that.
Company of One is a refreshingly new approach centered on staying small and avoiding growth, for any size business. Not as a freelancer who only gets paid on a per piece basis, and not as an entrepreneurial start-up that wants to scale as soon as possible, but as a small business that is deliberately committed to staying that way. By staying small, one can have freedom to pursue more meaningful pleasures in life, and avoid the headaches that result from dealing with employees, long meetings, or worrying about expansion. Company of One introduces this unique business strategy and explains how to make it work for you, including how to generate cash flow on an ongoing basis.
Paul Jarvis left the corporate world when he realized that working in a high-pressure, high profile world was not his idea of success. Instead, he now works for himself out of his home on a small, lush island off of Vancouver, and lives a much more rewarding and productive life. He no longer has to contend with an environment that constantly demands more productivity, more output, and more growth.
In Company of One, Jarvis explains how you can find the right pathway to do the same, including planning how to set up your shop, determining your desired revenues, dealing with unexpected crises, keeping your key clients happy, and of course, doing all of this on your own.
Entrepreneurs feeling abashed that their businesses haven't grown to the Fortune 500 level should relax sometimes slow or no growth is the right approach, argues consultant Jarvis in this persuasive manual. A "company of one" is a business that "questions growth," the business world's default strategy; while pursuing growth may be the most intuitive decision to make, Jarvis observes that it's not always the best one. Aggressive growth means an increase in operating costs, organizational complexity, and responsibilities for management, which doesn't suit everyone. Staying small, meanwhile, doesn't have to be the prelude to something bigger, but can be the whole strategy. Using case studies and (refreshingly briefly) his own story of working as a website designer, first for an agency and then for himself Jarvis walks readers through the steps of cultivating a company that intentionally doesn't grow: determining what motivates one beyond generating a profit; building a "scalable," or appropriately sized, infrastructure; starting and developing the company at a workable pace; and satisfying customers all the while. Though somewhat light, Jarvis's soothing guide is a good reminder that chasing the million-customer mark is not the right choice for every entrepreneur.