Anyone who runs a small business will be familiar with this question. They most likely get this question more often than any other when discussing their business. One they get so often as a way for people to define how big they are. It is a question to decide if they should still talk to you or not. One to categorize you in their minds. And one question that drives me nuts...
How many employees do you have?
This question is a ridiculous barometer of how successful, impactful, or influential you business is. It is nothing more than a way for people to put you in a box. To rank you based off of your size.
I know small companies that have redefined their industries. Ones that have forced change in their communities. Ones that are extremely profitable and more successful than companies with a large number of employees. And small companies that treat their employees like family.
Every so often, Bank of America lays off 10,000 employees. They are chosen by whatever metrics they see fit, but that doesn't matter. The employee has no influence on the decision.. Does it matter to those 10,000 how many other employees they have? Does it mean you are safer if you go work for them versus a small local bank?
There are far more meaningful and accurate ways to measure a business success. Here are just a few in no particular order.
- Number of Lives Saved
- Number of Kids Off the Streets
- Number of Children Saved from Trafficking
- Number of Children Educated
- Client Retention Rate
- Growth Rate in a Down Economy
- Revenue per Capita
- Thought Leadership
- Profit per Capita
Regardless of what measure you choose, I know you can be a leader in one area or another. Don't let the desire for growth be defined by number of employees, total revenue, or the address of your office space.
at the end of the day revenue and employees don't mean a hill of beans, you need to stay in business. The bottom line is important and the way to improve the bottom line is to take care of those that help you get there.
Be grateful this holiday season for all of those that you work with. And when planning out 2018 ask yourself this question...