10 things big business do, that small business should be doing
1. Early penning of goals, mission, vision and objectives
The best CEOs I know often sit very early with a pen and paper and write the fundamental goals and objectives that they expect to get from their business. They’ll go so far as writing a very simple profit and loss, which will act as the foundation for more detailed business and financial planning.
What’s essential is that the CEO develops a core mission and vision statement, that can be easily understood and shared with everyone that deals with their business.
2. Feasibility and planning
It’s easy to find a good idea and even easier to rush into it because you have a fear that you are going to miss an opportunity. Big business recognise the saying “If it’s meant for you, it won’t miss you” as being extremely valid and therefore they never rush into a project. They’ll undergo proper investigation into the financial, operational and market viability of the project by conducting detailed due diligence. That due diligence will consist of a feasibility analysis, forecasting, market research, SWOT, pilot projects etc.
3. Structure comes first
CEO’s understand that for any new business or venture or market entry, they initiate the project by deciding the correct structure to operate in to ensure that they have maximum asset protection, minimum tax exposure and optimal operational versatility.
4. Organisational structure
Every CEO should visualise how they expect their business to look when it achieves its mission in relation to size and scale, therefore better CEOs will, very early in the process, establish what their hierarchical chart will be and establish a clear definition of roles, responsibilities and reporting lines. That way as the business grows they simply find the people to fit the roles. Rather than find the roles to fit the people. Which ensures a more controlled and productive growth path.
5. Training and development
The best and most successful people in this world intimately understand that they learn something new every single day, and yet many businesses fail to have a regular and scheduled training and development program. To get the most out of yourself and your human resources it is essential that you include a training and development schedule in areas such as management, speciality skills and self-improvement and motivation.
6. Higher levels of expectation
The biggest limitation to any business is defined by the boundaries the CEO sets. While it’s important to be realistic with your forecasts and objectives it’s just as important to set the ‘big hairy ordatious goals’ – the type, which finish with you and all your staff flying on your privately-owned jet, to enjoy a reward for successful results.
It’s only by setting these goals that you stand a chance of achieving them. A common link between highly successful owners is that they believe anything is achievable. For them the sky is not the limit!
7. Staff buy-in
Big business consists of many stakeholders and none are more important than your employees. Engage your employees in creative thinking and facilitate a way for them to communicate so they can be involved in the decision making process. Additionally create remuneration programs that incentivise your staff based on the results you are trying to achieve. That way you are all working towards a common goal.
8. Focus on culture
Culture is a combination of so many things. You don’t plan culture.
Culture is an extension of being able to communicate, to all the members of your organisation, what you are trying to achieve – the values behind the goals and your desire to achieve those goals. It’s compelling the organisation to join you on a path, not because of financial rewards and remuneration but more because the fundamental inspiration and gratification that they will achieve from being on that journey.
Culture is set by how you talk, how you motivate and inspire, how you encourage and listen, the environment (setting), internal office space etc.
9. Growth and end game strategy
CEOs make a very clear definition, early in the lifecycle of a business, what the effect of the end game of that business will be. They may decide that they are building a business to:
- achieve maximum capital value and then sell
- become an income-generating machine
- cash flow other projects or
- enter a new market to create further business opportunities and so on.
Whatever the case they always start with an end in mind.
10. Invest in advisory
When you look into the composition of big business you will see roles such as Chief Financial Officer, Head Marketing Manager and Internal Legal Council. Most businesses can’t start with the luxury of having these roles so for small businesses wanting to think big and succeed as big business does, it is imperative that they surround themselves with advisors such as accountants, solicitors, marketing strategists, IT consultants, HR and so forth. The fact is you can’t do it alone.
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