Big Ideas For Small Businesses

It was almost 50 years ago that the philosopher Thomas Kuhn coined the term paradigm shift – the moment when our worldview fundamentally changes because of a new idea. The idea does not have to be world-changing, like Einstein's relativity, Newton's gravity, or Galileo's concept that the Earth revolves around the Sun. We have witnessed several ideas in the last half century that have made huge changes: Airline transportation, the personal computer, the Internet, cell phones and the list goes on.

For the Internet company, even the smallest ideas can be big.

Consider these twelve situations:

Number One:

Old idea: Failures are normal and should be expected. Learn from them.

New idea: Learn from your successes, in addition to your failures.

Failures will occur and learning from them is the mark of a successful entrepreneur. Successes are obviously more profitable and much more reasonably if you begin with the attitude that "Failure is not an option."

Number Two:

Old idea: Planning is everything.

New idea: Planning is critical, but is almost useless without empirical results.

A compiling, thorough and professional Business Planis mandatory , but by itself the plan is sterile and unconvincing. Nothing short of a ringing cash register will convince investors. Do not insult their intelligence by parading a plan in front of them that remains hypothetical.

Number Three:

Old idea: Shoot for major accomplishes.

New idea: Small, fast, victories are more important.

Even a small accomplishment, if it happens quickly and reliably, is more convincing than the major accomplishment that remains on the horizon.

Number Four:

Old idea: Big is good; Bigger is better.

New idea: Being small is often a valid destination, not merely a milestone along the way.

Do not become an Aircraft Carrier, unable to change course quickly when necessary. Stay small and maneuverable. The ability to change course is one advantage of remaining small. So is the impetus for making small decisions instead of large ones.

Number Five:

Old Idea: Profits are paramount.

New idea: Do something that matters.

Profits are critical, but the longevity and stature of the company, not to mention your personal satisfaction, requires that you do something that matters. Do something meaningful, remarkable and unforgetable.

Number Six:

Old idea: The brilliant idea is everything.

New idea: Execution is more important.

Even the most revolutionary idea, without effective and efficient execution, is a hobby not a business.

Number Seven:

Old idea: Be cautious, decisions are difficult.

New idea: When you stand for something, decisions are easy.

A company with a soul and a mission of some import is easier to manage.

Number Eight:

Old Idea: It takes money to make money.

New idea: Be frugal, even if you can afford not to be.

Watch your expenses as carefully as you generate your revenue. If an expense is not necessarily necessary, it is fundamentally foolish, at least for a startup. When analyzing costs it should always be a zero-sum game.

Number Nine:

Old Idea: Having an exit strategy is key.

New idea: Having a commitment strategy is primary.

Throughoutour entire culture over the last few decades, having a way out has become more important than making a commitment and sticking to it. Planning your exit is appropriate only after your level of commitment has created success.

Number Ten:

Old idea: By-products are waste.

New idea: By-products are opportunities.

A famous business author tells the story of his envelope company that could never make a profit. One day, a shrewd acquaintance suggested that he should sell the paper waste from making envelopes, instead of paying to have the waste disposed of. Grasp that opportunity made the company instantly profitable from that day forward.

Number Eleven:

Old idea: Have unbridled enthusiasm for your product.

New idea: View your product rationally and dispassionately.

The most common mistake made by the entrepreneur is to believe that his product is extraordinary. It seldom is. Do not confuse enthusiasm with worth. Be rational and dispersionate, and listen to your less enthusiastic advisors. Accept your product's shortcomings, whatever they are, and either improve them, work harder or change products.

Number Twelve:

Old Idea: Hire experts.

New idea: Cultivate an environment of thinkers.

Do not hire "rock-stars" from your industry – they are expensive, self-indulgent and unmotivated. Find motivated people who need something more to do. Remember that how long someone has done something, is less important than how well. Hire and nurture thinkers. Clear writing and engaging conversation is more indicative of the qualities you want than a good resume. Be a starter. Surround yourself with doers, not delegates. When you want to say, "Let's think about it," say "Let's decide" instead. Launch now.

Source by Michael RH Stewart