Blog: Size doesn’t matter! Good things come in small packages

Anyone that knows me and has met me knows I am short, so I couldn’t help but bring size into this blog.   But don’t worry, this isn’t a blog about that kind of size…. but I hope its interesting all the same.

So Godel is doing well…  So Neil, why don’t you and the team “go for it” and aim to become 1000+ people?
“Sometimes you can be a victim of your own success.”

I know that is a well-worn adage, but I fully understand that quotation now in the light of recent events. Our business growth and success at Godel, whilst increasing the quality of our services has given us some great publicity, however, it has also brought us to the attention of people and organisations looking to invest in the technology sector.

The fact that we do not want to get involved with that type of investment and go for the dizzying growth rates that VCs and private equity investors expect has led some people to suggest we are a lifestyle business. Believe me; with the hours our team put in here, we are no lifestyle business!

Quality suffers when you scale-up fast

We want to manage and control the rate of our growth tightly. Everyday we see the aftermath of companies who have engaged with clients and left behind a trail of destruction.  There is no doubt in my mind that quality suffers when you scale fast and in our line of work, there is only one set of people that lose out on this -the customer.

Our business has been built on the bedrock of providing high-quality, high-performing software development and testing teams of between 3 and 25 FTEs.  It’s what we do well and it allows us to maintain a level of performance, which when we wake up in the morning and look at ourselves in the mirror, the integrity is still there and it means when we share the stories and our values with new prospect clients, we still believe in what we say we will do.

Even though we have been growing year-on-year at 40-50%, we have maintained that level of quality because the controlled growth has allowed us to find the right quality staff at the right time. What’s more as we also focus on growing and retaining the staff we have, it ensures we don’t have the constant churn of employees we have seen in other companies. That quickly leads to a dilution in the ethos and values of the company and a subsequent reduction in quality, which again, affects the customer.

We are also proud of the fact that we focus on the UK market only. Again, learning from our competitors “mistakes”, we have seen that trying too much too soon, like moving into new countries or expanding offerings into the market place, that it is the customer who suffers as quality declines, either in the personnel available to them or in the fact that the company can generate higher rates elsewhere from bigger customers which means that these larger contract clients get access to all the best staff.

That wouldn’t be fair to the companies who have smaller numbers in their dedicated teams.
The size of our teams is crucial, would you expect, an IT partner with a team of 50+ placed with a customer caring more about that customer or a customer with a team of 4 or 5 staff?

Measuring success on our terms

We have come to the conclusion that 40-50% growth for our business is successful, sustainable and achievable without quality suffering. We do not want to get distracted in having to go for growth rates into the many hundreds of per cent, as we know that we would soon lose focus on our customers and most importantly, lose focus on the optimisation of our performance levels in the actual teams that do the work.  If we did this, revenue would win over quality.  This decision in turn would destroy the legacy of what we are trying to build.

Quality over revenue

So, how do we measure success?  Well, by growing at 40-50% per annum, focussing on quality over revenue and winning business by referral and organic growth. We do not want to be the biggest, simply the best at what we do, and that ethos will not be compromised by going for quick growth or chasing a fast buck
So no, we won’t be aiming to become 1000+ people any time soon, however, we are a sure bet for 40%-50% growth year on year!