Many of us dream of turning our modest small businesses into huge empires that will change the world and secure the fortunes of our children and their children for centuries to come.

While moguls such as Bill Gates and Elon Musk laugh all the way to the bank, the Hartford Small Business Success Study highlights a different trend.

According to this report, 55% of businesses (ranging from dry cleaners to restaurants and construction companies) were focused on remaining at their current size.

The number of business owners who had the main goal of growing their business has decreased from 41% to a mere 33%.

Noble as that may seem, there are many hidden benefits to owning a small business. After all, 73% of the respondents reported satisfaction with the success of their businesses and the fact that they were building long-term independence.

Perhaps these business owners knew something about building businesses that are successful enough to turn great profits, but small enough to bring true benefits to the owners.

Keeping your small business small means that:

1. You can follow your own moral compass.

When you are responsible for a small team, you have fewer responsibilities, which means that you don’t have to take decisions that don’t sit well with you.

2. You can react fast.

Instead of being bogged down by red tape and endless meetings, you will be much more nimble, which will allow you to make fast decisions and react to market trends in minutes, rather than days.

3. You will have more control.

Keeping your business small means that you can oversee more of its activities. (Let’s face it: We’re all hiding a bit of control freak deep inside!)

4. You will make better connections.

In a small team, it is easier for the business owner to connect individually with each member of staff. This leads to better teamwork and morale.

5. You’ll have a better work-life balance.

It’s true that more money means bigger and better toys. But it is so much easier to take off a day here and there to just rest and recharge.

6. You will be able to do what you love.

You may be passionate what you do, but turning it into a multi-million dollar company means that you will be spending much more time on the strategic business aspects than on your passion.

7. You get to build a business for YOU.

When you build an empire, you will need investors. Before you know it, you will be nothing more than a minority shareholder in the company in which you invested your sweat equity. By staying small, your business will always be yours.

8. You will develop new skills.

When you have a small team of staff, you will have the opportunity to learn new things. You will be the PR person, and you will become great at public speaking. You will deal with outside contractors on issues such as web development or marketing. Who knows how those new skills will benefit your business in the future?

Over to you: What is your take on the multi-million dollar empire vs. successful million-dollar company debate? Let us know in the comments!