Helping a Small Business Think Big


Small businesses often fail. Just knowing that can lead their owners to be too conservative when making decisions. There must be some balance where the entrepreneur can think big without risking it all.

Laying a Foundation

Taking the time to plan is essential to business success. There are many free services, classes, and mentors for small business owners. From the Chamber of Commerce to trade organizations, there are places that an entrepreneur can get good advice on everyday issues.

It’s like chess. If the business owner thinks out many different moves through to the end, they are more likely to make a good choice when they act on their plans. Mentors in the business world can help the entrepreneur see the pitfalls of each plan and determine which ones are more likely to succeed.

Paying Attention to the Rules

Before plans are finalized, every effort should be made to discover what rules, regulations and taxes may stand in the way of success. Many good enterprises are thwarted by mistakes in how they followed the rules. There is no industry where this doesn’t ring true.  After all, every employer is responsible for payroll taxes right out of the gate.

The problem may be with safety, the environment, or simply inventory.  A construction firm may need to invest in used industrial mats to protect their jobsite. Caterers will need to know what to expect from an inspection. The small store owner must know how to collect sales taxes correctly. The point from A to B may look obvious, but there are many ways to mess things up.

Staying the Course

As each plan is put into action, the entrepreneur needs to be monitoring its progress. This job may fall to employees within the start-up, but it is critical to success. There should be constant sharing of data to determine which goals are being met and which are being missed. There should also be frequent discussion about the rules that govern the enterprise and whether they are being adequately met.

This information may show the manager where the direction needs to be corrected. Remembering that chess game, entrepreneurs should know when to stay the course and when to make changes. Strict adherence to the plan and to the rules does not mean that the entrepreneur cannot be flexible. It just means that they are realistic and focused when it comes to the business of doing business.

Making the Leap

Opportunities come in many forms. It may be the chance to expand your physical plant or offices. There may be a franchise offer or a second location that becomes available. It may be a contract from another business or a government agency.

Big companies take chances like these all of the time. With a strong foundation, a small business can position themselves to make these leap safely. They may not know exactly when the opportunity is coming. It may be a sudden thing or one that is long in the planning. Yet when it is before them, they know they can grab the chance that is presented.

Entrepreneurs may feel ready, but that’s an emotion. Laying the founding and following the rules are really the only way the business can successfully take advantage of new opportunities. This is how an owner thinks big even when the business is small.


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