Running a successful business often entails making strategic decisions about growth, staffing, and balancing personal and professional priorities. This article explores the experiences of a digital consultancy that has deliberately chosen to remain small and focused, using an “associate” model of trusted freelancers. The decision to prioritize family and work-life balance over expanding the business has proven to be successful and fulfilling for the couple behind the consultancy.
Opting for a Different Path
The founders of the digital consultancy have consciously decided against hiring full-time employees, despite opportunities for growth. By utilizing a network of trusted freelancers, they have maintained flexibility, profitability, and a strong focus on family. This deliberate approach has allowed them to scale their workload based on changing circumstances, without the added responsibility of managing a larger team.
Avoiding the Downside of Growth
While growth may offer benefits, it is not without its challenges. The couple has witnessed the struggles faced by friends who have taken the growth route, some of whom experienced high levels of stress and personal strain. In one case, a friend’s marriage dissolved due to the financial burden and stress of managing a larger team.
The Freedom to Prioritize
By choosing to remain small, the founders have been able to prioritize their family and personal life while still maintaining a profitable business. Their ability to scale their workload up and down based on their personal needs has allowed them to be present for their children and adapt to changing times.
The Stress of Managing People
Another factor that influenced their decision to stay small was the stress associated with managing a growing team. Dealing with employee issues, sickness, payroll, and other administrative responsibilities was not something they wanted to take on. They preferred the autonomy and flexibility of working independently or with a small network of freelancers.
The Importance of Deliberate Choices
The founders emphasize the significance of making deliberate choices, rather than simply growing for the sake of growth. Many individuals fall into the trap of people-pleasing and expanding their businesses without active decision-making or setting clear boundaries. This can lead to a perpetually stressed and survival-oriented mindset, ultimately resulting in the downfall of many businesses.
The Advantages of Being Your Own Boss
Owning a business offers numerous advantages, particularly the ability to optimize it for personal benefits. This includes the freedom to fire difficult clients and selectively choose who to work with. This level of control can significantly reduce stress and ensure a more enjoyable and sustainable business experience.
Potential Risks and Legal Considerations
While the associate model has worked well for this consultancy, it is important to note that in certain regions, relying heavily on freelancers could raise legal concerns. In some countries, utilizing freelancers who predominantly work for a single employer can be interpreted as an attempt to avoid taxes and employee benefits. It is essential to understand and comply with local laws and regulations to avoid legal repercussions.
The story of this small digital consultancy emphasizes the benefits of a deliberate approach to business growth. By prioritizing family, maintaining flexibility, and avoiding the stress of managing a larger team, the founders have created a sustainable and fulfilling business. Their experience serves as a reminder that success should be defined by personal fulfillment and work-life balance, rather than solely by traditional measures of growth and expansion.
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Author Eliza Ng