Thinking Big for Small Business
May 8, 2023
As a small business owner, it's easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day operations of your business. You're constantly juggling tasks like managing inventory or staff, paying bills, dealing with customer service issues, and the like. So of course it can be challenging to find time to think about the big picture, let alone act on it.
You might even be tempted to ignore big picture strategy altogether.
But please don't.
If your business is going to grow and thrive today, it's essential to put the time and effort into thinking bigger about your small business.
How Thinking Bigger Can Help You Grow
Let's start with just a few reasons why thinking bigger is so important to your small business. Thinking bigger helps you:
Set and achieve goals
Focusing solely on the day-to-day tasks of your business is good for today, but where is your business headed tomorrow? Without thinking of the bigger strategy, you may not have a clear vision of where you want your business to be in the next year, five years, or ten years. But by thinking bigger, you can set ambitious goals that inspire you and your employees. These goals can help you stay focused and motivated, even when the going gets tough.
Stay ahead of or stand out from the competition
When you're running a small business, it's easy to get stuck in a rut. You may be doing things the same way you've always done them. Or doing the same things as everyone else. But by thinking bigger, you can stay ahead of the curve and be seen as a leader in your industry and our area. When customers look at you and what you offer versus what the competition has, you can make an impression if you’re focused on their needs, including what they’ll need in the future. It also gives you the ability to charge more than what others are doing because you’re offering what they don’t.
Attract top talent
Talented and motivated employees want to work for businesses that are innovative and forward-thinking. By thinking bigger and setting ambitious goals, you can create a work culture that attracts the best and brightest employees. That has a payoff that will benefit your business for years to come.
Expand your customer base
If you're only focused on serving your existing customers, you may be missing out on opportunities to reach new markets. By thinking bigger, you can identify new customer segments, create new products or services, and expand your reach.
Thinking big means you’re innovating and trying new things. Not only does this differentiate your business from the competition but also may help you get recognized, win awards, and receive additional publicity for your efforts. If you’re doing something that no one else has done, you may also find that people come to you for your expertise, which may translate to a spin-off business or consulting/expert/keynote opportunities.
So, how can you start thinking bigger as a small business owner?
5 Ways to Think Bigger Right Now
1. Set aside time for strategic thinking
Schedule a regular time to think about the big picture of your business. This could be a weekly meeting with yourself or a brainstorming session with your team. Don’t expect the ideas to come just because you’re sitting at your desk waiting. Sometimes activity brings on strong ideas. Ever notice how walking, driving in your car, or taking a shower is often when the best ideas come to you? Make time for activities that help you think and be ready to capture your ideas on paper, on your phone, or through an audio recording.
2. Focus on your core values and mission
Think about why you started your business in the first place and what you want to achieve in the long term. This can help guide your strategic thinking and decision-making.
3. Look outside your industry for inspiration
Attend conferences or read books and articles about businesses in other industries. You may find ideas that you can adapt to your own business.
4. Be willing to take risks
Thinking bigger often means taking risks and trying new things. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and take calculated risks that have the potential to pay off big in the long run.
5. Stop settling
One of the many reasons some business owners don’t take risks is because they figure staying with what they know is safer. It absolutely is. Just ask what safe thinking did for Blockbuster.
Thinking bigger is essential for small business owners who want to grow and thrive. If all this sounds good but you're still not sure where to start, contact us at the Chamber. We can help guide you and your small business toward the resources and partnerships that will help take you to the next level.
Written by Chris Bailey. Chris is the Executive Director of the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce. When he's not helping his community and businesses prosper, Chris enjoys hiking West Virginia state parks with his wife Carrie, having a good beer and barbecue, and solving the daily NY Times crossword puzzle.