Is Bigger Really Better?

BigBusinessAt my very first NSA conference back in the early 90’s, I remember hearing a speaker named Barb Schwartz say “no body ever said bigger was better”.

Barb and her husband were burnt out from trying to support all of their employees in their speaking and training business. I’ve always kept that idea top of mind when planning my business growth.

Today, I have a whole team of people (blog experts, virtual assistants, book editors, graphics designers, traffic generators) but NOT ONE OF THEM is my employee. They are all independent contractors and we work together virtually.

“This is where both large and small businesses are heading,” says Rod Collins, author of “Leadership in a Wiki World.” “Companies will need to be flexible in order to compete in the global arena.”

Of course, there are exceptions. Speakers who have an in house team of people may find that that model is best for them. My point is that we don’t all need to aspire to the same shape and size of business. There is no one size fits all.

So what’s your perfect business look like?

Feel free to comment below!

PS:  There are 5 spots left in Club Catapult (for 3+ year speakers) to find out more click here

  • Jane,
    Good point! Coming from corporate (and HR no less!)to owning my own business, I vowed NEVER to have employees! I don’t want the hassle, responsibility, liability, etc. I work with contract professionals and that suits me just fine. For me, bigger is definitely not better!

  • Interesting article Jane. My thoughts, having lived the pros and cons over 20 years is that having a “staff” is warranted where you have a somewhat predictable and stable cash flow. So for those speakers who have product systems with a built in renewals/updates it can make sense to have employees. For the rest of us, where our revenues go up and down from season to season, we need to keep our costs flexible. I wonder if the VA model is always the best choice if they require an certain number of hours as a minimum. That is still overhead, just in a different form.

    Our biggest concern as speakers is that we need every dollar that we spend to support bringing in more revenue. Even a VA who doesn’t generate results (or free up our time so we can make more money) is really a drag on our bottom line. In fact, if the VA isn’t particularly efficient or effective, all they are is another staff person – their higher hourly rate is equivalent to having an employee with benefits.

  • Jane:

    I used to be in a business that a good friend, in another city was also in.

    We kept asking each other, “How many accounts do you have?” What were you sales last month?”

    NEITHER of these matter if you’re not profitable!

    Your points are well taken and the advice on hiring 1099s for specific assignments makes sense.

    This is the era of ‘Gig-anomics!’

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  • Bigger is better if you’re referring to the bottom line. The disconnect is that isn’t always proportional to the top line. For years my company made more than General Motors!

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