When you are a small company it is easy to keep things personal.  It is easy to know everyone by name.  It is even easy to have your thumb on the culture and to know everyone around you. 

You build your advantages by:

  • Being able to know everyone more personally.
  • Getting things done faster than anyone else.
  • Doing things not as many others would do.

But as you grow larger you lose some of those things that made you great.  How do you roll with the punches and still be exceptional in what you do?

As you get larger you need to specialize and everyone can’t do everything.  People get stuck doing things longer than they are used to and find their job less enjoyable.  It is your job to keep their focus ahead instead of behind. 

But as you expand and become bigger, if that is what you need to do, there is tradeoffs.  You can grow as big as you can or you can try maximize what you have. 

As a leader you need to be able to cast the vision of what is important.  You need to communicate continually about what you are about as a company.  You need to encourage everyone.

As you get larger everyone starts to wish they had the small closeness back in your business.  But most of the time they have a glorified view of the past.  That was one of the positives and most of the negatives have already been forgotten. 

As you move forward point out the positives about expanding.  (One of them should be survival and providing jobs for everyone.)  It is amazing how once change happens everyone wants to revert to how things used to be.   And how things used to be is way more glamorized than it actually was.

Another great article on this is by Paul Williams at Marketing Profs Daily Fix.