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Expo West 18 InSession

How to grow your business into a 'small giant'

Author Bo Burlingham has spent decades studying entrepreneurs and their companies. Here, he shares what great companies have in common.

“When a business has mojo, you want to work for that business; you want to buy from it; you want to sell to it; you want to wear its T-shirts and caps.”

—Bo Burlingham, author

Part 1: Small giants know what kind of company they want to build

Highlights:

  • A big company is not necessarily a great company.
  • Leaders of great companies have their own definitions of success, including being unique.

 

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Part 2: What makes companies great?

Highlights:

  • Peer companies recognize their excellence in the field.
  • They contribute to and are influenced by their communities.
  • They don’t grow so big that employees don’t know one another.

 

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Part 3: Leaders of great companies have a vision

Highlights:

  • Their founders know who they are and what they want.
  • Clif Bar’s Gary Erickson passed on selling his company because it didn’t feel right.

 

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Part 4: Building great relationships is key to growing a great company

Highlights:

  • By choice, small giants grow where they are planted.
  • Employees come first, because they directly influence the customers’ experiences.

 

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Part 5: Keep one eye on the bottom line, but maintain your passion for work

Highlights:

  • Even great companies must adapt to change or lose business.
  • Success comes down to leadership and relationships.

 

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Part 6: Audience members seek day-to-day advice

Highlights:

  • Make the customer feel as though you care about them personally.
  • Study other companies and learn from them.

 

This session—Small giants: Understanding What It Takes to Grow a Great Company—was recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2018.

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