How many times have we heard that while growing up? I know I’ve heard it a DOZEN or so times as I started different businesses, or helped people get their own business. While I generally never started businesses with my own money, I noticed that when I thought small, I got small. When I thought big, boy, big wasn’t a big enough word!
Small business owners have so often gotten themselves into trouble, more often, but thinking small, and thinking that they could do it all by themselves in their little office in the corner of the basement somewhere. Guess what, and I will say it, again, if you think small, you will get small. Being in business doesn’t mean that you are “busy” all of the time – in a state of “busy-ness”, but rather, that a state of busy-ness has been created as a result of carefully planned and executed steps. You can think about it in two ways:
- If you take a bag of popcorn (the old fashioned stuff that you have to cook on the stove, and NOT jiffy pop!) and you take the popcorn, and oil and simply place it on the stove without a pot, you are going to have a flaming mess as the oil heats up, pops the popcorn, which catches on fire and eventually lights the oil, creating an even bigger fire. Pretty busy, but probably not accomplishing much in terms of reaching the goal.
- You could take a bag of microwave popcorn, place it in the microwave for the appropriate amount of time. After the time expires, you have a perfectly popped bag of popcorn. Yes, there might be a few kernels left unpopped, and it might even be a little well done in the center, but guess what – you are in a position to make small adjustments to make changes in the future. That is like a well-run business.
Thinking too small, or from a position of scarcity, in business is detrimental to the health of your business. Like a human body, a business needs to start healthy and in a healthy environment in order to survive. It needs to have all of its survival and safety needs met during its first phases of life in order to grow up healthy and strong. It has to have a health infrastructure in order to support business growth and increased market presence.
Now, if your business grows up without and strong infrastructure, your business may end up in popcorn scenario number one, where the goal was defined – you wanted popcorn, you started the project with all of the best of intentions, but had nothing to contain or control it as the popcorn started to grow. This is what your internal systems and strategies do for an organization. Thinking small in your business will likely have you right there.
If you think big, or from a position of prosperity, you will look at your business from the perspective of one that has needs, including adequate cash, internal systems and strategies and resources to call upon in the event you need to make changes. Starting a business is not a case of “well, I think I will start a business today, here’s my sign, where are all of the people” – in most cases. Running a business isn’t a case of, “well, let’s just do what we always do.” At the same time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you start off building the Microsoft Executive Offices for your first set of offices. It is a balance between appealing to your customers’ expectations, in terms of the vision they have for an organization like yours, and maintaining a sense of understanding between needs and wants.
Working from a position of prosperity will enable you to advance from working in the “survival mode” to that of operating a business. In survival mode, you are the business, you cannot see which way is up, and you are probably working at a very low level of efficiency. In prosperity mode, you are running your organization, making adjustments as necessary and planning, strategically, to take certain initiatives. You review have efficient things are going.
When Dell (computers) says they are going to do something, they say things like, “yes, predicted revenues should be in the neighborhood of U$1 billion. When I talk to my analysts, we talk in the neighborhood of six figures. Are both realistic figures? Yes. Absolutely. How does Dell know? The same way I know. The same way YOU should know. By developing internal systems and processes, organizations can determine their capacities and capabilities and thus determine, given a certain number of factors, a realistic number to shoot for that is neither too optimistic nor too pessimistic (generally slightly north of my accountant’s recommendations!)
This is where prosperity lives. This is where you, as the business owner, should live. You should be making decisions about your business, not struggling, trying to figure out where the next dollar is coming from. You should be reviewing the results of your marketing rather than trying to pass out fliers and stick them in peoples’ car windows. You cannot work in the business and on the business at the same time, and be effective at both.
At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].