When looking at new businesses and small business, it is helpful to define them in a couple of ways. I find there are many ways to do that define it, but my litmus test is the way in which the owner(s) operate it.
I have found businesses often operate in two ways: by scale and by homestead. The homestead is the most familiar and easily inhabits small towns and neighborhoods across the country. These businesses, while profitable are only intended to produce revenue for the owner(s) their small band of employees and in the end are passed down to a successive generation to be managed in the same way. Homestead have helped to put numerous children through college, feed families, and employ the community. They are often manifest in the corner store, small legal practice, boutique marketing firm and the neighborhood restaurant or bar. Owners of these institutions rarely make the financial and operating adjustments to grow the company beyond one or even a few locations.
Often begun in the same manner as the Homestead business, the scaleable business makes definite adjustments to expand its borders. Even if it starts as a family business, there is a level of vision there that wants to widen the parameters of the product offering and the clientele. Finance is handled differently. The money is recycled scrupulously and the leaders/owners in the company are constantly looking for more opportunities. In some cases the scaleable company had at one time been a homestead business, but with a change in leadership–perhaps the father passed it to his daughter–the goals have become different.
Take a moment to determine what kind of company you have. Even if you are a homestead now, what might you need to do to scale up? I think this is a great question for small enterprises in developing nations. How might the business model be modified to grow beyond its current stature. Also, you may find a boutique company fits your lifestyle better. If you have small children, want more time with family or seek to stay close to your community, the Homestead business might serve you best.
Which are you? How do you want to contribute to the world of business?