Company of ONE!
Updated: Sep 8
- Measure profit margin not Company Size.
- Create your own lifestyle.
- What is a Lean Startup - no buildings, no employees.
- Start a business as a side hustle.
- Purpose: Getting involved and growing relationships.
Paul Jarvis “Company of One”
When I was younger, I always thought being a successful business owner meant you had to have a large number of employees, lots of equipment or facilities, and be a CEO of a Fortune 500 Company. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. While large companies can be successful, small or companies of ONE can have just as much success.
When a company of ONE defines what success means to them, it’s easy to see being larger may not always be better. Scaling a company means more resources like expenses, overhead, and employees.
A company of ONE measures growth in terms of profit margin and impact. There’s a lot to be said for a company that can build relationships and help people on a personal level if their company size is smaller.
An example of this would be a single business owner who chooses to hire subcontractors instead of hiring employees to stay lean and easily adaptable. This requires less office resources and can easily be factored into the project.
First start by defining what type of lifestyle you’re after and create a company with boundaries around that concept.
If you want to be done working by 3pm, great! Set your target market and work schedule to accommodate that goal.
If you want to grow your business to be as stress free as possible, that’s great too! Set your business up to allow for minimal confrontation by creating lots of happy customers as your focus.
Maybe you want to travel more? Start working on a business plan and target market that requires a large portion to be digital. The entire business doesn’t have to operate digitally but the more that you can do online the more flexibility you will have to travel. Creating online courses for various skills could be a good option. The more focus you put into creating systems and procedures upfront the more flexibility a business owner is able to travel.
No matter what your current goal in life looks like, you can create a business plan to cater to that lifestyle. This concept also requires a lot of hard work and hours of dedication but the possibilities are endless!
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, a profitable company starts out lean and stays lean. If you absolutely don’t have to have it, don’t buy it.
What I mean by this is, if you can put off purchasing a physical business location, office supplies, new laptop and so on, do it! As long as it doesn’t prohibit your own personal growth the expense are typically more of a convenience than an asset. This will allow the barrier to entry to be a lot lower than having more overhead. With less overhead a company can see high profit margins. It allows you to have sustainable growth without needing more revenue for those items you thought you needed for your business. The more lean the startup, the higher chance of success.
With a lean business, if a tasks can be outsourced this means that’s less employees needed for that task. The less employees you have, means the less stress a business owner feels to support that employee and his family.
It reduces stress because the business owner then does not have to worry about paying that individual’s salary, medical insurance, retirement plan. Not to mention the physical items an employee needs like a laptop, software and a physical facility to go to work to.
This cost of outsourcing can be directly accounted for by charging the price needed to hire another professional. This also means the subcontractor has their own laptop, software, and knowledge to get the job done without much communication. Minimal communication means you have more time to go out and get more projects to increase your profit margin.
Some people are worried that starting their own business means they will not gain a profit for the first two years. Forbes wrote in one of their articles that “Only 50% of companies make it to year 5”! Now that’s not the highest of odds but having a successful company is in the eyes of the beholder.
When starting a new business give it a try on nights and weekends. The most important part of creating your new business is creating a customer base. Mark Cuban once stated in an interview “sales cures all”. If you have good sales and lots of customers everything else can be solved. If you don’t have any customers that typically means you don’t have any revenue. No revenue is the quickest way to being a company that doesn’t make it.
To combat failure, mitigate the risk by defining what a successful company looks like for you in years 1, 2 and 3. Maybe getting one client and completing one project means you are successful in that first year while maintaining your current full time job. Maybe success in years 3 and 4 are trying to make the shift of creating enough revenue to do it full time. Define what success means to you and don’t let others define it for you.
Creating a business around purpose is the best way to get through the hard times when things aren’t going according to plan. And trust me nothing goes according to plan. When that happens it’s extremely important to read your mission statement and remind yourself why you started a company in the first place.
The reasoning for creating a company varies tremendously and could be any number of reasons. Some create companies to help others, to create schedule flexibility or to be able to travel. Whatever the reason, when crap hits the fan this is the key to not giving up.
Start dreaming and start a side hustle!