Why does one business achieve unprecedented success while its equally matched competitor fails? The truth is, success is largely determined not by your products or prices, but rather by the way you run your business. And evidence shows that entrepreneurs who think less like small business owners -- and more like big business CEOs -- have a better shot at achieving long-term success.
To get you started running your small business like a big business CEO, here are four big business strategies to start implementing right away:
1. Set strategic "critical musts."
"Critical musts" are key things that must exist in your business over the course of the year in order to bring you closer to your vision of success. At the beginning of every year, big business CEOs determine what critical musts they need their organization to achieve, and they set their goals, projects, and to-do lists accordingly. This allows them to achieve their goals in a profitable and sustainable way.
To implement this strategy into your small business, assess what critical musts you want to achieve this year, and make sure your monthly and quarterly goals are in alignment with them. For example, let's say one of your critical musts for the year is to increase your business's visibility within your industry. In this case, your immediate goals may be to increase your email subscriber base by 50 percent, blog three times a week on well-known websites, and book public speaking engagements.
2. Strategically allocate your resources.
Big business CEOs always make sure they're allocating their resources in a way that is profitable. To implement this strategy into your small business, assess how you're currently spending your time and money. Are you allocating your resources in a way that's in alignment with your critical musts? What's your current return on investment?
For example, if you're spending two hours a day scheduling client appointments, is that really the best use of your time? Perhaps you could delegate the management of your calendar to your assistant, essentially freeing up those two hours for you to focus on business development opportunities that relate directly to your critical musts.
3. Monitor and measure your progress.
In big business, revenue, sales, marketing, effectiveness, human capital, and technology are consistently measured and monitored. This constant analysis ensures that deficiencies can be spotted and corrected, and the CEOs can learn what's working and what's not.
I strongly encourage you to use these same concepts in your small business. In my Big Breakthrough System I introduce my private clients to the concept of executing mini appraisals to maximize their productivity. Every month we'll look at their goals and their accomplishments, and assess what needs to happen next month to keep them on track. This includes looking at the financials, including revenue projections, investments, and losses.
When you operate in this way, there are no surprises. You always know exactly where you stand and what you need to adjust along the way.
4. Attract, engage, and retain top talent.
In the corporate world, tasks are clearly defined, and people with appropriate talents and skills are placed in specific roles. For example, the chief financial officer of a corporate company doesn't also handle research and development. Big business CEOs know that one person can't do justice to a myriad of specialized tasks, so they staff their company accordingly.
Many small business owners take the opposite approach. They hire a single person to handle all the miscellaneous tasks that they don't want to do, and it results in wasted time, money, and energy. For example, your assistant may not be the best person to write the company newsletters, manage the website, and process payroll. Objectively assess the tasks you have and hire people who can tackle them quickly and efficiently.
I want to hear from you! Which of these big business strategies do you think will make the biggest impact on your business? Leave your answer in the comment box below.