Two down! boom!

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It’s the end of another lovely month (February)! It’s been power packed and full! but I’m glad it’s one more down (decided not to put the number of months to go…). Thanks to my blog followers who take time out of their busy schedules to read my posts and share. You guys keep me going. Thanks.

A brief recap if you missed any post this month;

 

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#thisishowwedoit

Can you describe yourself to a child or someone who isn’t particular about your educational or professional achievements? Describe yourself gives you a starting point. I got a comment from Yewande which sums up the impact of this post.

This is so true. A friend asked me once to write 100 achievements starting from age 6.

Believing it will be easy peasy, I set out to start only to get stuck after writing 15 achievements in 1 hour so thanks a lot Tosan, I now know how to go about it. Good job.

 

To be big or to be great? tries to open our minds to our options as business owners – Is Go big or Go home the only option? This is what Humble though of it;

Great! I admire how you took your time to break things down.

It is true that while our individual views at the so called “small giants” insinuates that they are “local champs”. On the contrary, it could be that the driver’s mission/goal is/was to remain small but great.

It buttressed further in suggesting that there is need to draft Mission and Vision Statements for our business ventures. And should not be afraid to remain small giants if that was it’s original intent.

Thanks Tosan

Turn on the passion is my first short story, we learn a lot from things not even related to what is happening in the immediate. The hectic life of a wife & mom of two teaches us a thing or two on how to pursue our goals.

The New Age Seller redefines the idea of selling. In today’s economy where price hikes are the norm, This would help you get the desired results that keep you selling even when all else fails.

Who’s excited about March! I am!

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Looking forward to reading, reviewing and sharing from these two books.

Learning from these women looks like fun… Be sure to tag along (click link to follow blog by email) to get the post fresh off the mill. 

Have a lovely march into MARCH!

Cheers.

Tosan A.

To be big or to be great?

‘Small Giants’ goes against everything I have ever heard about business growth, and It provides answers to numerous unanswered questions about how the future of a business can be decided. It reminds owners of the power they have concerning the future of their businesses – the power to CHOOSE – Tosan A.

 

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#BOOK REVIEW: SMALL GIANTS|BO BURLINGHAM|PORTFOLIO|2005|232 PAGES

Small Giants is about a study of companies who deliberately choose to remain ‘small’ (this is relative with respect to their fields and their ability to expand). Bo Burlingham identified a class of companies which did not fit into the popular classes of small, big or very big and decided to do more research of them especially since it was a deliberate and sometimes more active effort on the part of these companies to stay small. He selected 14 companies for his research and organised a field study on these companies, highlighting areas where they are similar and also their differences. Small Giants is the result of this study.

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This book felt so real, it literally feels like we are actually on the field with the author listening live to the insightful answers to tough being asked to business owners and their teams – people, you may never meet anytime soon, hearing them tell their stories of how they faced the pressure of deciding when to grow and how fast to grow. I liked the author’s writing style as it was a combination of interesting stories gotten from interviews and the results of a field study of like-minded individuals and businesses. It was an interesting and a thoroughly educative one all in all.

LEARNING POINTS

WHAT MAKES A BUSINESS A SMALL GIANT?

  • Mojo: The first thing to note about Small Giants is the soul of the business – the mojo. The thing that endears it to its community – customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders. The uniqueness about a company that is sometimes inexplicable but is obviously noticeable.
  • The freedom to choose: I wouldn’t say this is entirely freedom but more like the responsibility to decide which way to go rather than been automatically led towards growth; deciding whose definition of success are we go by. It involves being intentional about business growth instead of being shaped by outside forces. This is focal point about Small Giants. It is about leaders exercising their rights to chart the future of their company and deliberately choosing not to grow big but to work at being excellent at what they do and enriching the lives of those in and around them – their physical and psychological environment.

Companies choosing to remain small rather than dilute ownership; companies who choose to maintain independence and control on the type of business that they become without much external input; businesses that choose to be champions in one geographical area rather than nobody in the world scheme of things; Businesses that care about quality, excellence, and heightened customer satisfaction; Companies that care about their roots and community – Small Giants

  • The culture of intimacy: Small Giants have very close ties with their communities which is very different from the usual corporate responsibility but one that is mutual in that both parties benefit from each other whilst also helping each other. There is also a high level of understanding and mutual affection among employees in the workplace where they are endeared to the business and not coerced to function. These companies have values that permeate through almost every sphere of their business which are very clear to all stakeholders.

WHAT COMPELS BUSINESSES TO GROW?

Some pressures that business owners have to overcome or yield to as the business unfolds:

  • Socio-economic/ psychological: Everyone just assumes businesses are birth to become multinationals and make comments and/or push business owners towards that direction.
  • Owner’s personal ambition: This could easily be a fallout of the above point; when the society has expectations of you, it easily guides your personal goals for growing your business

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  • Suppliers: As suppliers grow, they expect you to grow with them and align you with their growth plans.
  • Competitors: Being small sometimes mean that you lose your voice in the midst of bigger competitor because you are not big enough to be heard. You could also be downtrodden if you are too small to withstand the impact of the elephants in your field.
  • Opportunities: Opportunities that come in earlier than planned.
  • Employees: After having being round most units and stayed in the business for long, your best employees cannot see a growth path for their careers; when you stay small.
  • Customers: when your clients expect you to provide your unique solution to wherever they may find themselves in future (geographic) or to expand your products to meet their basket of needs (product expansion).

 

THE FUTURE OF SMALL GIANTS: Whilst Small Giants face the issue of effective succession since most of all the distinctness, excellence and mojo could be lost during the transition if bought or passed down to future generations; they are everywhere making impact on their community at large. They are around us, among us and growing with us if we only just looked a little closer.

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Tosan’s take: I thoroughly enjoyed this book! You know when you just see a book that talks about all you have been trying to express but you seem to be alone on it. This is what Small Giants means to me. I have always asked my team the question – Should we strive to be Big or should be strive to be profitable? Although in our volume driven sector, this answer is not that straightforward, but this just goes a long way to validate my concerns in managing my business. Every business owner concerned about excellence or wants to maintain the original reason why they started the business should definitely read this book. For growing business owners out there, remember bigger isn’t always better.