For the January 2022 edition of the Indie Business Book Club, we read Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing in Business, by Paul Jarvis. The book stands the notion of traditional entrepreneurship on its head. It's exactly appropriate for our Indie Business Network members, who hack new definitions of entrepreneurship and personal success every single day.
If you're not familiar with the Indie Business Book Club, you can click here for more information.
Go big or go home.
If that's how you think of business success, then this book will not impress you much.
But if you agree with us that it's time for a new definition of entrepreneurial success, then you will love this book for its refreshing approach to going big without growing big.
The author questions the wisdom of growth for growth's sake. He defines staying small as a meaningful goal, especially if you do not envision your life filled with the hierarchical bureaucracy and rigidity of traditional entrepreneurship.
Highlights from Company of One
Here are a few of the most meaningful highlights in the book.
Highlight No. 1: Embrace a “one-to-many” mindset.
One way to define success in business is repeatedly selling the same thing over and over again, to the exact same person — just at a different address. This one-to-many mindset streamlines the sales process and helps you multiply your results without multiplying your effort.
Highlight No. 2: Start with a minimum viable product
Many people launch a new product with their eye on creating the best and most wonderful product imaginable. While this sounds like a great idea, it is usually the first step to losing a lot of money because the best and most wonderful product imaginable probably costs so much that it cuts heavily into your profit margin. A lower profit margin, especially at the start of a business, means less cash on hand to build momentum, and this spells an early emise for many new businesses.
Not only that, but your first iteration of anything is not going to be the best and most wonderful version of that thing.
Whether you are starting a brand new business, or you lead an existing business that is launching a new brand or product, you can avoid this by offering:
- a single product
- that solves a specific problem
- at the lowest cost to you
- with the highest possible profit margin
It's not sexy, but it positions you for success sooner, and sets you up for maximum profit right out of the gate.
Highlight No. 3: Invest in relationships
The author says that social capital is one of the most valuable assets in your business. It is accumulated over time. It is baked into your business via a crock pot and not a microwave. Slowly, consistently, and methodically build the trust of your audience by touching them over and over again with your message.
This is how relationships are forged. This is not only how repeat sales happen. It's also why they happen.
Who should read Company of One?
If you are tired of trying to adapt your business to mainstream notions of “entrepreneurship” and “success,” then Company of One is definitely the perfect book for you. It will help you to resist the status quo, and define and then create success in your business on terms that are suitable to you from a personal perspective.
Buy Company of One
Of course, you can also purchase the book at your favorite local book store.
Visit the Indie Business Book Store
We invite you to visit the Indie Business Book Store to browse previous Indie Business Book Club picks and books authored by Indie Business Network members.
Feedback and Share
Did you read along with us? What do you think of this book? Do you like the idea of rejecting traditional definitions of entrepreneurship that are growth driven? Do you agree that your life and business would be more enjoyable if you pursued a better business instead of a bigger one? Please share your comments and feedback below.