Think big, but start small in business

There are so many people out there telling us to think big, and that big businesses are the only ones that count. There is a problem to this type of thinking. The problem is that we all have to start somewhere and accumulate knowledge, technical and people skills. If your rich dad handed over a multi-million dollar business to you upon his death without training you, you would fail without question and fall on your face. I’m not trying to discourage you. Business takes skill, endurance, wisdom, and hard work. These traits can’t be manufactured overnight — you need to work at it. So, it is imperative that you start small in business.

But, what about having big dreams?
Dreaming big and thinking big are so important. Without a larger vision, you are stifling your company without even realizing it. You might be wasting twenty hours per week doing small tasks that don’t matter that much while much more critical tasks are being completely ignored! I personally spend far too much time doing inconsequential data entry for my company simply because I don’t trust anybody else to do it. A week ago I came to the conclusion that I just need to NOT do it at all. Let it slide for the most part. I need to focus on bigger things. If you don’t dream big you will never focus on tasks that lead to bigger things.

Part of dreaming big is to dream about employees
Some bosses dream about having star employees, others just want people who will work, while there is also the type that dreams about his secretary. That last guy will have a disgruntled wife — guaranteed! But, growing a successful business requires dreaming not only about what you are going to sell or do, but also about the systems in place for you to do that, and also the individuals who you are going to hire. A great corporate culture is so important. Also, the lifestyle of your employees matters tremendously as well (not to mention your personal lifestyle.) Part of setting yourself up for success is to spend more time testing out new employees and subcontractors. You can’t make good hiring decisions unless you become an expert at the topic.

Do you have a business model which has capacity for growth?
Most people are so caught up in their daily reality, that they don’t have any idea how their business model would grow. Is there room in the marketplace for growth? Can your company adapt to growth? Do you have the right management team that can accommodate new employees and train new managers? If you do not have the capacity to train new people to do key tasks at your company, then you simply can’t grow. And if God forbid, you lose a key employee, do you have a mechanism to replace them?

What if you have a company with ten employees.
Two are managers, and eight are workers. Those managers are so busy managing everything that is going on, that they have no time to hire, fire, inspect the quality of work, or think about growth strategies. Your company is stagnant. At most companies in India, the manager:employee ratio is more like one to twenty-four which is much worse. Regardless of what type of management:employee ratios are optimal for your company, you need to have some SLACK in the equation for someone to think of optimizing efficiency, growth, and analysis.

What about your systems in place?
Forget about employees for now. How do you want your company to do what it does? Do you dream about having better systems? Part of dreaming big is not only about imaging your annual million dollar income, although keep that thought! It is actually a proven fact (at least with me personally,) that focusing on top-line income on a daily basis raises your revenue. Checking your income stats daily and being determined to keep the numbers up really does make a difference. But, if your company doesn’t have really great systems for getting work done, then there really can’t be any substantial growth. If you are doing data entry, perhaps there is a better system you can have for checking on the quality of your work-force, or a better way of attracting new clients. You might have ideas of investing in better technology to make your work more streamlined or convenient. The specifics are something you would know more than I would know.

Your company will have an easier time growing if you are always experimenting with new systems, new employees or types of employees and growth models. If you keep everything the same, you might find your company to be stagnant, so experiment, and develop upon what got you positive results. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is the key to success just as long as you don’t repeat your failures! Have fun, think big, start small, and get rich — then, take a vacation for a while and de-stress!

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