Of course there are many reasons why a small business stays small. An important one is that the owner actually wants to stay small – that is a valid choice!
But what about those businesses that want to grow, that want to get to the next level but just cannot seem to get there?
The answer is not the economy, or resources the real answer is small business thinking.
Life is not the lottery! We don’t become rich and then figure out how to be rich. We find a success mindset and then success comes!
We first need to take on the actions of the position that we want in life and then work towards achieving that. In short, we decide who we want to be and then, be that.
In time, the world will catch up with us!
A huge part of my work, as a business consultant, is trying to get business owners to think differently about themselves and their businesses so that they are able to grow. The first step with most of my clients is to write a business plan that fits the goals, dreams and skills of the owner.
Our plans are exhaustive often running to one hundred pages. – sometimes more!
Why so much detail?
Wouldn’t a five-page plan achieve the same result? The answer is no it would not. The reason so much detail and drill down is required is that the imagination often needs overwhelming evidence of the possibility of change to accept that change can really occur.
Nothing can be achieved without first imagining that our world can be different.
It is the same with businesses as with people.
Small businesses stay small because the owners have a small business mentality focusing on the ideas and activities that will keep it small rather than ideas and activities that will help it grow.
My favourite quote in marketing is “your positioning becomes your position” by Dan Kennedy in his ‘No BS Marketing’ book. The meaning is simple, we first need to position ourselves in the market and then work towards that position. Without a new position and a new mindset nothing will change in our lives.
When I work with clients on Business Development the process starts with a series of conversations to understand the dreams, aspirations and fears of the owner and then comes the plan that reflects those dreams and considers the fears.
The next step is a complete branding ( new web, business identity, sales materials, etc) based on the plan.
Branding takes the new positioning statement of the owner and of the business and makes it visible and real. A plan is ‘just an idea’ but a new website and business cards tells the world that we are going places and they should expect something different. In turn, we begin to view ourselves as different.
So, small business owners!
If you want to be bigger or different, the first step is to lift your head out of the business and look around.
Get a good plan and then decide who you want to be, then be that!