Book Review - Company of One


Hello all,

I am going to switch gears for this blog post. For those of you that know me, you know I love to read! I also enjoy sharing recommendations and giving books to friends and family. Along those lines, I am going to post a book review and recommendation of some of the things I am reading. If anyone is interested in reading any of the books I review, send me a message and I’ll let you borrow my copy—or give you a copy if someone is already reading mine!

Ever since I started my own law firm (and even before), I’ve been reading books about entrepreneurship, successful start-ups, and business management. Most of the books I’ve read encourage quick growth at all costs. This quick growth results in an ever-increasing over-head, staffing issues, and requires lots of borrowing (and debt), to scale up as fast as possible. For someone who wants to build a personal, relationship-based business like I do, this model does not appeal to me, nor does it seem like sustainable model for success.  Sometimes, bigger is not always better.

I recently read “Company of One” by Paul Jarvis which makes the case that owners should focus on making their business better, instead of bigger. Jarvis questions the status-quo of growth at all costs and encourages businesses to focus on staying small while sustaining profitability by improving efficiency and using strict client selection criteria. He says that the easy way to run a business is to just throw more personnel or money at problems, rather than trying to find real solutions. According to Jarvis, “Blind growth is the main cause of business problems.”

Jarvis’ business model is to focus on serving the clients you already have, rather than trying to court the clients that you don’t have. Providing an excellent product or service will encourage repeat clients and client referrals. Jarvis encourages owners to question growth and focus on building real relationships with the clients you already have, which relationships should be based on trust, empathy and humanity.

I highly recommend this book to any business owners and/or attorneys looking to read a refreshing take on how to create a successfully business by questioning growth and building a relationship-based business.  

Thomas Askeroth