Table Of Contents
Company Of One Book Quote
If a symphony is successful with 120 musicians, why not even more so with 600? “To grow bigger” is not much of an effective business strategy at all.
A company of one is more in line with the traditional definition of an entrepreneur.
If you’re utilizing systems, automations, and processes to build a long-term business, you’re not trading time for money, but instead operating and profiting outside of the time you spend working and beyond your one-to-one relationships.
For example, whether you’re creating physical products, selling software, or teaching online courses, customers and users can purchase and consume these products and services without your company of one putting in time for each transaction
Part 1 Begin
Defining a Company of One
There’s a core assumption that growth is always good, is always unlimited, and is required for success.
We can easily run a business with less, although to many people that seems counterintuitive.
A company of one questions growth first, and then resists it if there’s a better, smarter way forward..
The fewer staff and less external funding involved, the faster a company can move, whether forward or in a new, more promising direction.Simplicity
Start out as simple as possible, and always fervently question adding new layers of complexity.
Staying Small as an End Goal
When businesses require endless growth to turn a profit, it can be difficult to keep up with increasingly higher targets.
A company focused on growth often puts into place complicated systems to handle exponential volume and scale, which require more resources (human and financial) to manage.
I doubled my rates over and over until the demand only slightly exceeded the time I had available to do the work.
I can replace an entire IT department with one on-contract systems administrator in Berlin who works one to two hours a month for me.
I can learn everything I need to know about the visitors to the websites that run my business with free analytics software. Working for Yourself: Too Risky?
The Census Bureau data shows that each year it becomes easier and less risky to work for yourself and still make a decent living
If growth happens too quickly, problems can arise—like not being able to hire fast enough to keep up, or not having enough infrastructure to handle increased volume.
We idolize people like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Oprah and think that their path to success—creating massive empires—is our own key to happiness and career fulfillment.
What’s Required to Lead
A company’s goals are best achieved by helping workers or customers achieve their goals.
Such leaders do not seek attention but rather want to shine a light on others’ wins and achievements.
Servant leadership requires humility, but that humility ultimately pays off.
Autonomy can be badly abused. The problem is not so much employees taking advantage of perks like flex hours or remote work, but leaders assuming that they need to give less direction. Psychology
You need to know how and why people make decisions about your products or services. Focus
By saying no to anything that won’t serve your business or your team, you can open up space to focus on a better opportunity in your business.
Growing a Company That Doesn’t Grow
People sometimes tend to focus on the wrong things when starting a business, like office space, scaling, websites, business cards, computers
if your idea requires a lot of money, time, or resources to start, you’re probably thinking too big too soon.
You should first figure out the smallest version of your idea and then a way to make it happen quickly
If scale isn’t the goal, we can strip our business and business ideas to their essence to discover their greatest strength.
Part 2 Define
Determining the Right Mind-Set
A well-integrated, shared purpose lets a company of one set its true direction, leading to easier decision-making, higher retention of team members, and greater connection to customers.
You can pursue any passion you want, but you shouldn’t feel entitled to make money off it.
How many opportunities do we really need to say yes to? Often, piling on work to get ahead comes at the price of our health, our relationships, and even our productivity.
What do you want your brand to exude? Toughness? Sophistication? Excitement? Sincerity? Luxury? Competence?
Don’t just ask consumers to pay attention to your business. Instead, start doing the kinds of unique and unusual things that attract attention in order to make your business distinct
People can copy skills, expertise, and knowledge, which are all replicable with enough time and effort.
What’s not replicable is who you truly are—your style, your personality, your sense of activism, and your unique way of finding creative solutions to complicated problems.
The One Customer
Good customer service isn’t about simply achieving the norms of courtesy.
Being prompt, answering questions, and treating customers with respect shouldn’t be rewarded—such service should be expected.
Where companies of one can thrive and stand out is in exceeding those expectations, through personal touches, building reciprocity, and treating customers like they’re very important (hint: they are).
Customer happiness is the new marketing. If your customers feel that you are taking care of them, then they’ll stick around and they’ll tell others
88 percent of consumers were less likely to buy from a company that didn’t answer support requests on social media.
Businesses with a culture of keeping their word are much more profitable than those that go back on their word or only say things that don’t align with their actions.
Companies of one can look to simple and repeatable systems to facilitate scale, with no need for more employees or resources.
Teach Everything You Know
To stand out and build an audience as a company of one, you have to out teach and outshare the competition, not outscale them. This approach has several positive outcomes.
By focusing a lot of time and energy on protecting ideas instead of sharing them, you run the risk of not letting them get better through critical feedback from others
Customer education is the new form of marketing
Teaching builds trust and expertise like nothing else for a company of one.
Part 3 Maintain
Properly Utilizing Trust and Scale
There are three aspects of trust: confidence (“I believe what you say”), competence (“I believe you have the skills to do what you say”), and benevolence (“I believe you’re acting on my behalf”).
Trust is more easily established within a smaller customer base because it’s easier to stand out as an expert or to gather referrals that hold weight from other industry experts in that niche.
Having 100 passionate fans of your business who are eager to buy anything you release is exponentially more effective than having 100,000 followers who simply follow your business to win something like a free iPad
Launching and Iterating in Tiny Steps
Quickly becoming profitable is important to a company of one because focusing on growth and focusing on profit are nearly impossible to do at the same time.
Finding a simple solution to a big or complicated problem is your strongest asset as a company of one.
The idea that winners never quit is both overly simplistic and completely false. Most successful founders of companies have quit several times
The Hidden Value of Relationships
Building relationships by being helpful first enables an audience to benefit from the relationship, and that experience will lead them to feel a sense of real reciprocity later when you try to sell them something
The main point should always be: what can you do as a company of one to make your customers happy?
Starting a Company of One—My Story
By removing the hurdle of having to consider scaling up in all areas at all times when things are going well, you can open yourself up to investing in enjoying your own life.
You will have the freedom to enjoy the benefits of having figured out how to make “enough.”
Afterword: Never Grow Up
There’s only one rule for being a company of one: stay attentive to those opportunities that require growth and question them before taking them.
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