Strategy

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The Secret to Building a High-Quality Email Subscriber List

As Author Christopher Westra said, “The quickest way to do many things is to do one thing at a time.”

You might be thinking that the best way to get things done is to multitask and work on many things at the same time. But by juggling too many tasks, you’re well on your way to feeling overwhelmed and eventually burning out. This doesn’t do your business any good at all.

When you focus on working on just one thing at a time, you’re able to think deeper and be more creative, which results in a better finished product. Use Starbucks as an example: they started with just one thing, coffee. They were able to focus on their one thing and they grew an entire empire because of it.

If you want an email list full of subscribers, you need to focus on one thing: building your email list. When you invest your energy into your email list, you’re able to convert subscribers into paying customers and build relationships with customers you may not have met any other way.

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

Before you spend your time on trendy marketing tactics, make growing your email subscriber list your top priority. Whether you’re launching a new business or looking to grow your current one, a high-quality, relevant email list will help you achieve your goals.

This might feel impossible when you have a huge list of high priority tasks in your business, but with email marketing you’ll put automated systems in place to attract potential clients on a consistent basis.

Get the Results You Desire

You can’t expect your business to grow if you aren’t taking advantage of email marketing. Think strategically about where you want your business to go and plan for that.

Start by identifying who your ideal customer is. Create an enticing free offer, and use that free offer to get people to join your email list. Seize the opportunity to market directly to your potential customers by creating and growing your email list. This is one surefire way to grow your business.

The Magic of Doing One Thing

When you focus solely on growing your email list, you are putting processes in place that will bring in huge results for your business over time.

Email marketing has been proven to work time and time again, so invest the time needed to build a solid list. It doesn’t take a lot of time to create your first series of emails. The beauty of email marketing is that it takes the same amount of time to create and send one email as it does to send 500 emails.

By automating the process, you will save time, reach a larger audience, and build relationships with your subscribers.

How Are You Going to Make Growing Your Email List a Priority?

Avoid getting caught up in trying to do too many things at once, and focus solely on building your email list for now. Email marketing is a great way for you to stand out to your audience when you’re starting a business or trying to grow an existing one. Your subscribers are eager to receive your emails, and over time they will begin to see you as an expert in your field. Put time and energy into growing your list, and it will reap endless benefits for your business.

Want to learn more about how you can build a quality email subscriber list?

Check out our course, The Entrepreneur’s Guide for Growing Your Targeted Email Subscribers List

 

image collage of the Program How to Grow Your Targeted Email Subscriber List

https://businesstrainingglobal.com/how-to-grow-your-targeted-email-subscriber-list-pre-registration/

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The Secret to Success in Business Planning… Plan your work and work your plan.

Running your own business is a highly rewarding, but often a risky endeavor.  As with anything else, increasing your chances of success begins with preparation.  And when it comes to transforming your dream into reality, the key to successfully jump starting your business is simple: Create a business plan that plans the work and then, work the plan.

Whether you’re just getting a new business off the ground, expanding the business you have, or purchasing a business, devote plenty of time to planning:

  • Begin with a discovery process to confirm the viability of your venture.
  • Do your homework.
  • Uncover fundamental objectives, insights, opportunities, and risks.
  • Research the market.
  • Examine your offering, market conditions, trends, and the competition.
  • Excavate potential problems.
  • Outline your goals and objectives.
  • Compile the business intelligence you need to create a solid foundation of actionable information to chart your present and future direction.

The next logical step is to develop a plan—a strategic business plan that functions as a living document to define your objectives, guide your business, and take you from Point A(where you are today) to Point Z (where you’d like to be).  But remember—a strategic plan is about more than securing funding—it’s essential to jump starting your business.  And once you’ve written your business plan, follow it up with an action plan that spells out your short and long-term objectives and how you’ll achieve them.

Just remember this—there is no underestimating the power of planning.  As the former CEO of Octel and Lucent Technologies notes, “People usually plan their vacations more carefully than they plan their careers.  I’m a compulsive planner, but there were times when I had no idea what I was doing.”

Even when you have no idea what you’re doing, developing, and implementing a plan improves your chances of achieving your goals.  This article outlines the fundamental components of crafting a strategic plan to take your business to the next level.

What is a strategic plan?

Strategic planning is the process by which the key stakeholders (you and your partners) in an organization envision its future and develop the procedures and operations that will enable you to achieve that vision.

A strategic business plan serves two purposes.  First it’s an internal document that defines your goals, strategies, and tactics.  Second, it’s a tool for raising capital.  However, you need a plan, whether you’re looking for capital or not.  Without a plan you won’t know where you’re going and you have no way to benchmark or track your progress.

With a strategic plan you have a road map that enables you to look ahead, allocate resources, focus on key points, and prepare for problems and opportunities.

A well-articulated strategic business plan clearly outlines your vision, goals, priorities, strategies, products, services, and financing needs.  It also provides relevant information about your company, your management team, and short- and long-term objectives.  Highlighting both the positive and negative aspects of your business opportunity, your strategic plan should look ahead from three to five years.

How do I write a business plan?

As they say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.  Likewise, there’s more than one way to write a business plan.  Formats, outlines, and lengths vary.  But they all tend to share a generally accepted format and certain standard components.

Your plan must be clearly written, logically organized, and convincingly worded.  It should target a specific audience.  It should outline the details of financing, competition, strengths, weaknesses, and forecasted financial performance.

As a rule of thumb, when writing your plan, include the following components:

  • Cover letter—writes a cover letter to introduce you and your business plan to your audience.
  • Title page—include a title page that details the content of your plan, your name, address, phone number, names and positions of the executive team, date and contact information.
  • Table of contents—add a table of contents to make it easy for readers to find information.
  • Statement of purpose—includes a clearly stated explanation of your company’s goals and how you’ll achieve them.  For example, your statement of purpose may be “to provide quality, reliable landscaping services for less in the Phoenix metropolitan area”.  Describe your value proposition, whether it’s price, convenience, service or another attribute, how much capital you’ll need, and how you’ll repay it.
  • Executive summary—this is the most important part of your business plan.  Include a brief summary that highlights the major points of your plan.  Provide background on your business, the market, your value proposition, key team members, projected ROI (Return on Investment), internal rate of return, and current and potential risks.
  • Market information—describe your target market(s).  Substantiate statements with facts and supporting detail.  Include market research on initial and future markets, key market segments, past growth rates, anticipated trends, and changes.
  • Company—describe your company, its type, history, legal structure, industry, market, principals, and revenue size and growth rate.
  • Product/service description—describe your offering, relevant business benefits, stage of development, how your product/services will satisfy a real business need and enable you to compete.
  • Management team—include detailed information on the core members of your team—the people who will run the company, as well as senior partners, attorneys, financial and business advisors.  Include names, titles, experience, skills, responsibilities, and compensation.
  • Potential risk factors—include an assessment of the risks facing the company.  Describe the worst-case scenario and anything that could go wrong today and in the future.  Offer strategies for overcoming risk.
  • Execution/action plan—describe how you’ll translate your business plan into actionable results down to the finest detail.  Describe how you will obtain licenses to do business, open an establishment, get products on the shelf, hire employees, and forge partnerships.  Describe production schedules, delivery processes, and customer service policies in order to set operational benchmarks to measure progress.
  • Financial information—Include a section that projects future revenues and profits three to five years out.  Base this information on best-case, worst–case and most likely-case scenarios.  Summarize financial data like cash flow, income statements, balance sheets, banking relationships, terms, and rates of loans, financing plans and working capital requirements.
  • Legal preparation—includes corporate bylaws, patents, and trademarks, licenses to do business, employment agreements, and customer contracts.  Anticipate the legal and documentary setup your business will require.  Writing a business plan can seem like a daunting task.  However, there are many resources available to help you prepare a sound plan.  You can find books in your local bookstore, software programs and templates online and in local computer/software stores or you can work with a consulting firm, a nearby Small Business Development Center, or a local business school.

No time like the present to start to plan your work and work your plan.  Happy planning…

photo of blocks spelling SWOT

What is your SWOT?

An effective tool that assesses and identifies opportunities and risks is a SWOT analysis.  A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved in a business venture or project.  Once a clear objective has been identified, a SWOT analysis can be highly effective in the pursuit of the objective.

SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  It’s an assessment technique that paints an accurate picture of how your business stacks up based on these four factors.  SWOT is a simple, popular way to gather and use information in preparing or amending your business plan.  It’s also useful in solving problems, making decisions, and educating staff when change is necessary.

In brief, SWOT means identifying:

  • Strengths–internal factors- such as expertise, innovation, and resources.
  • Weaknesses–internal factors- such as a high level of debt, slow moving inventory, and labor shortages.
  • Opportunities–external advantages- such as a rapidly growing market where demand outstrips supply.
  • Threats–potential external risks- such as natural disasters, competitive price undercutting, and changes in the general business environment.

Calculate SWOT, and you can quickly identify your venture’s pros and cons. Aligning internal strengths and weaknesses with external opportunities and threats is essential to sound strategic planning.  With SWOT, you know where you stand today and where you are going tomorrow.  With SWOT, you can identify and prioritize the issues that will accelerate success.

In the planning stages of jump starting your business, SWOT is essential to your business plan–especially if you’re looking for capital.  Why?  Investors appreciate any type of analysis that minimizes their risk.  The SWOT analysis identifies internal and external factors that can impact your business success.  To calculate SWOT, you need to understand the factors–internal and external–that will affect your progress.

Internal factors are those factors that are within your control and that take place within your business environment:

  • Operational issues–the efficiency of your operation.
  • Staff and employees–the loss of a key salesperson or supervisor.
  • Capacity— resources available that match supply with demand.
  • Cash flow–the timely flow of revenues to pay financial obligations.
  • Costs–costs of doing business such as payroll, equipment, and rent.
  • Productivity–ability to produce desired number of products or level of service within a given time frame.

External factors are general conditions and environmental factors that are outside of your control:

  • The general business environment–interest rates and demographics.
  • Economic change–a sudden deterioration in the geographic/regional market or growth in the macroeconomic climate.
  • Industry/market/customer trends- –changes in the competitive landscape.
  • Technology trends–trends that can be used to your advantage.
  • Regulatory environment–changes that can create opportunity.
  • Weather issues–whether you are a tennis pro, a painter, or a landscaper, long periods of bad weather can limit revenue-generating opportunities.
  • Product availability— manufacturing materials that you count on are suddenly impossible to obtain.

The purpose of the SWOT analysis is to examine and identify all of these factors, (the likelihood that some or all of the factors will come into play), quantify how they can affect your business, and then develop a contingency plan.  Examine each of the internal and external factors and develop reasonable responses.

photo of red arrow in target-Hitting Your Customers Sweet Spot

Hitting Your Customer’s Sweet Spot

Competition existed long before strategy.  As we trace the evolution of strategy, we find that the founding principle is still in play today:  Strategy is about achieving the competitive advantage!  If there were no competition, there would be no need for strategy.  Gaining a sustainable edge over your competitors, as efficiently as possible, is the #1 priority on any businessperson’s “to-do list.”

Strategy is a deliberate search…a search for a plan of action that will develop a company’s competitive advantage and compound it.  The difference between you and your competitors is the basis of your competitive advantage.  The objective of your competitive advantage strategy is to enlarge the scope of your advantage, and that happens only at someone else’s expense.

How successful you become at competing in your marketplace depends on how you position your business relative to your competitors.  The position your firm occupies against your competitors is–for the most part–your competitive advantage, and hopefully not your disadvantage.  A competitive advantage exists when a firm has a product or service that is perceived by its target market customers as better than that of its competitors.

Your Unique Selling Proposition is your biggest marketing weapon and is the key to differentiating your business from your competitors.  Delivering value and benefits, that no one else can deliver in the marketplace, is the foundation of your Unique Selling Proposition.  Your USP becomes the cornerstone of your sales and marketing message.  It is this message that builds and reinforces your brand, attracts new customers, and sustains your competitive edge.

A USP is your statement, your response to the question, “What draws a customer to you, rather than to your competitors?”  It’s your USP!  When developing your own USP, remember to:

  • State a specific benefit of your product/service, not a feature.

    Photo of the workbook for how to create your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
    Great tool to help you create an awesome USP! CLICK ON COVER
  • Distinguish your product/service from those of your competitor.
  • Propose a solution to a problem or address a customer’s needs and desires.
  • Focus on your target audience. 

Your USP sums up the unique features and benefits of your products/services along with the value that only you can provide your customer.  It is what separates you from your competitors.  Your USP must say, “Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.”

Why have a USP?

One of the most significant things you can do for your business is to identify and develop your own Unique Selling Proposition.  It is important that you communicate to your customers that it is in their best interest to buy from you!  If you don’t tell them this, chances are they won’t buy from you…  Below are a number of valid reasons for having a Unique Selling Proposition:

  • It gives your customers a reason to buy from you, rather than from competitors.
  • It sets you apart favorably from your generic competitors.
  • It gives your customers support for their purchasing decisions that are based on valid reasons rather than on emotional reasons.
  • It raises your customers’ expectations of you.
  • It provides your team with a clear focus.
  • It minimizes competition based solely on price.
  • It adds lasting value to your business.

To be effective, your Unique Selling Proposition must hit your customer’s sweet spot!

When an established organization adopts a powerful and appealing USP, it gives new life and excitement to your activities.  Your Unique Selling Proposition creates a renewed interest and greater appeal from your customer.

The better your Unique Selling Proposition is, the less likely the need to compete on price. . .

Photo for Business Insights blog-5 Tips to Maximize your Efficiency

5 Tips to Maximize your Efficiency

Everyone has only twenty four hours a day, whether you are a beggar or the richest man in the world. There is simply no exception. Why, then, is it that some people manage to accomplish so much in a day, while some simply while their time away and end up wondering where all their time went to?

Since there is no way to make a day last more than twenty four hours, the next best thing we can do is to maximize efficiency in using our time. Here are five tips to help you accomplish that end.

1) Make a to-do list

Having a to-do list gives you a sense of direction and lets you know exactly what you are supposed to accomplish for that day. A common mistake for beginners is trying to stuff in too many things at a time, and ending the day disappointed at failing to accomplish all of them. This is normal and as time goes by, you will have a firmer grasp of your own abilities.

2) Block out your time

Blocking out your time enables you to create a to-do list more effectively. It allows you to set how much time you should spend on each individual activity, and the sense of urgency prevents your mind from wandering and improves your focus.

3) Focus on one thing at a time

The power of focusing on one thing at a time is of utmost importance and ties in with the rest of the points. While multi-tasking is a common activity in today’s fast-paced world, we must be realistic and realize that many items cannot be grouped together and done simultaneously. Focusing on one thing at a time not only allows you to maintain full concentration on that one activity and allowing you to complete it fast, it also results in a high quality of work as your attention is not diverted to other issues.

4) Give yourself a break

All work and no play, makes Jack (and the rest of us) a dull boy. Workaholics often have this thinking that giving yourself a break is being too indulgent, and is something to be avoided at all costs. However, the truth is that this is not only detrimental to your health and absolutely boring, it also zaps you of the energy required to function effectively. In short, an occasional break or reward for yourself is essential.

5) Set goals

Setting goals is somewhat similar to writing a to-do list. The difference is that it instead provides you with a big picture view of your objectives. Classify your goals into short-term, middle-term and long-term for a clearer picture of what you hope to achieve.

If you diligently take action and implement the give steps in this article, you will be well on your way to maximizing your efficiency and to having a renewed sense of vigour in carrying out your daily activities!

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How Do You Measure the Risks and Rewards that Are Associated with Your Business?

Entrepreneurs are risk takers by nature.  Whether it is the formation of a new venture or the expansion of existing business, entrepreneurs face different types and degrees of risk before any rewards can be realized.  In pursuit of their dreams, entrepreneurs come to realize the delicate balance that exists between risks and rewards.

It’s a given fact that starting and running your own business is inherently risky.  In fact, according to the Small Business Administration, the risk of failure is extraordinarily high for entrepreneurs starting new ventures.  Nearly 10% of all firms fail each year and nearly 61% of manufacturing firms close their doors within the first five years of operation.

The small business failures are sobering statistics.  So, before you “bet the farm” on that new business venture or the expansion of your existing business, calculate and understand the potential risks and rewards.  First, it’s critical that you understand and assess how much risk you can tolerate in your new venture or the expansion of your existing business.  Make sure you have a realistic view of your business opportunity and the upsides and downsides associated with pursuing it.

The rewards for launching a new business or expanding an existing business, however, can be great.  Studies show that entrepreneurs account for a large proportion of the country’s wealth and entrepreneurs have higher savings rates than that of traditional workers.

It is important to determine how much risk you can withstand in a new venture or the expansion of an existing business.  Before you even consider launching or expanding an existing business, you need to have strategies in place to offset potential losses or unforeseen challenges.

As you assess your potential risk factors, be brutally honest and consider these questions:

  • How many years can you go without making a profit?
  • Can you tolerate possible financial loss?
  • Can you survive the loss of all your invested capital?
  • Have you taken steps to mitigate risk with insurance?
  • Are you sharing personal risk with investors?
  • Have you set aside savings to cover potential losses or dry spells?
  • Do you have a contingency plan if you lose a key client or employee?
  • Can you afford to risk your capital, services, and reputation?

A feasibility study is a great tool that can help you to assess risk and reward.It provides a detailed investigation and an analysis of factors that influence your project to determine whether or not the project is viable.  The study examines the economic, marketing, technical, managerial, and financial aspects of your proposed business idea.  The feasibility study is based on a cost benefit analysis of your actual business, and the study is used to support your decision-making process.  A feasibility study is an effective way to safeguard against the waste of resources of time, people, or money that may be exhausted before an idea or project is deemed viable.

Whether you are applying for a SBA business loan, seeking funds for expansion or plant modernization, or deciding which steps come next in growing your business, a detailed feasibility study will give you the professional support that you need to make your case.  A thorough feasibility analysis investigates the impact that each of following issues can have on your idea or project:

*  Economic (labor, utilities, transportation, economic impact, etc.)

*  Marketing (availability, plans, competition, targets and potential, etc.)

*  Technical (site, equipment, modernization, constraints, etc.)

*  Financial (cash flow, costs)

*  Managerial (assessments, recruiting, training, and development)

The result of the feasibility study is a thorough analysis of the feasibility of your proposed business idea or project.  If your idea or project is deemed feasible from the results of the study, then the next step is to proceed with a formal business plan.

Photo for Business Insights blog-Quick Way to Create a Startup Action Plan for Your Business

How to Create a Startup Action Plan for Your Business

During the beginning stages of starting a business, one of the most important things you should do is create an effective action plan. Why create an action plan early? Studies reveal that businesses with a startup action plan are more likely to succeed than those without a plan. However, there’s danger in spending too much time on planning—it can be procrastination.

Now, the main purpose for creating an action plan is to help you focus and crystallize your ideas. A well thought out plan can help you decide which steps to take to attain business goals and objectives.

A good action plan involves:

  • Determining what your objectives are
  • Setting measurable and achievable goals
  • Prioritizing tasks
  • A set of clearly defined steps needed to attain your goals and objectives
  • Creating a contingency plan
  • A concrete timetable

Your plan must be rooted in strategy and carefully outline the steps required to grow your enterprise. An action plan will help turn mere thoughts and aspirations into realizable goals.

Brainstorm your plan

The idea behind brainstorming is to help you come up with as many ideas as possible. Ensure that your action plan includes the four important areas, i.e. sales, marketing, operations, market research and administration. The first ideas that come to mind are sometimes the best ones. However, you need to reevaluate your list and pick the most effective and practical ones.

Brainstorming is best done when you are feeling relaxed, unhurried and receptive to unconventional viewpoints.

Include as many different and creative ways to achieve your goals no matter how impractical or unsound your ideas may seem at the moment.

Define your goals

Identify your goals and write them down in list format. Your goals should be prioritized in order of importance.

Focus on realistic, measurable goals

Our achievements begin with goal-setting. Knowing what you really want to accomplished is vital to your personal as well as entrepreneurial success.

Thinking or dreaming big is a good thing, but oftentimes we trip over our big ideas because we fail to lay them out in concrete terms. When we repeat the same ineffective approach to “planning” we are simply moving in circles and not getting anywhere.

By setting measurable and realistic goals, we are much more likely to achieve business growth.

Things you need to define when setting measurable goals:

  • Objectives
  • Resources
  • Time
  • Financing/money

Break it down into baby steps

Don’t overextend yourself but focus on measurable goals and deadline each step. When you take things in smaller increments, it simplifies tasks and makes it easier to measure your progress.

Identify costs

Define the cost of each baby step in terms of money, time and energy. Identify additional resources you will need to achieve each step.

Bridging the gap

Know where you’re at in relation to where you want to be. This will enable you to fully understand how much work still needs to be done to attain your goals. Consider sales volume, customers, profits, revenues. It’s like a bird’s eye view of everything to help you decide whether or not this is the direction you want to take.

Update your plan on a regular basis

The idea is to build on the minor successes you have achieved. Discard strategies that failed and continually make adjustments or introduce improvements to your plan. This will enable you to formulate a new and more educated insight.

Many people don’t like planning. However, when business gets tough, goal setting becomes crucial. Your action plan will facilitate zeroing in on the right information to help you to know what you need to get there.

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How to Lead by Example

Have you ever noticed an individual who just simply commands attention or, better yet, one who can persuade anyone to do what he or she may ask? Some individuals are just born natural leaders while others struggle seriously in this department.

If you find that you are one of those who struggle, it does not have to be that way all the time. There are tips and techniques you can learn to incorporate leadership into your persona.

Encourage Group Participation

An effective leader is only as good as the employees who follow. If you take the position of leadership as one of doing it all yourself, you will more than likely not succeed. Being an effective leader means encouraging your group to offer their input as well as their insights.

If you take on an approach of my way or the highway, do not be surprised if everyone heads for the door.

Make certain that when you offer your views and opinions, you are open the views and opinions of others. Be open to new ideas and you will start to see the sparks flow amongst your group.

Be a Positive Force

If you are in the habit of being negative and stressed, then chances are the people in your group will follow suit. Being a positive force entails carrying a cheerful and optimistic attitude along with feeling motivated. If you are not those things for yourself, you cannot expect others to be those things for you either.

Approaching others with an amicable and charismatic demeanor is essential to have others recreate your actions, as well.

Be More Charismatic

When you become more charismatic, it does not mean that you are falsely charming. There are several character traits you can practice becoming more charismatic:

* Be a good listener

* Evoke deep emotions

* Be an excellent communicator

* Instill a sense of integrity into your leadership

By practicing these skills in your daily life, you can then easily transform them to your business world. Being charismatic means, you inspire, encourage, and motivate your followers.

Do not be Afraid to get into the Trenches

Leading by example means that you are not afraid to get your hands dirty or your feet wet. Going into the trenches and getting things done shows a sign of integrity. When your employees see this trait in you, they will surely want to model it for themselves.

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Take This Tiny Step First to Success

Do you dream of launching your own business? Perhaps you have an amazing idea, but something is holding you back? Maybe you want to move to another city or country, and start all over?

Taking the first step is always the hardest part. It’s not uncommon to see people never do what they have in mind just because they’re too scared to get started.

New experiences come with a dose of fear. You must embrace the unknown and take risks. Not everyone is willing to let go and take on these challenges.

Believe it or not, you can bring your ideas to life without changing everything at once. It’s that first step that can move you in the right direction. Small things, such as building a new habit, can go a long way toward your success.

 

Why Taking the First Step Is the Hardest

No matter what you’re trying to achieve, taking the first step can be mind-wreaking. You might think:

  • What if I fail?
  • How will I make money?
  • What will people think?
  • What if I’m no good?
  • What if it’s not the right time to do it?
  • Am I ready for this?

The truth is that no one can guarantee that you’ll succeed. But, you’ll never know how it’s going to turn out unless you try. Do you want to spend the rest of your life wondering What if?

That first step is always the hardest because it requires you to embrace the unknown and face your fears. It’s also the most important step – without it, nothing will change.

 

Feeling Scared?  Take a Half Step to Change Your Life

Most times, it’s the small things that have the biggest impact on our lives. You don’t have to change everything from one day to the next. If you’re scared of the unknown, do one little, minuscule thing to get started.

It can be contacting real estate agents to find a flat in your dream city, making a phone call to find out what it takes to start a business, or eating one healthy meal rather than junk food. Choose one little habit and stick to it. Celebrate this first step and feel proud of it.

Later, take another step and then another, and so on. Stop waiting for the perfect moment to get started. Stop overanalyzing and just go for it! The best time to start is now.  So, take your first step to success.

Photo for Business Insights blog-Thinking Small to Go Big

Thinking Small to Go Big

Did you know that only eight percent of people reach their goals? That’s right! The other 92 percent fail within weeks or months. According to researchers, what differentiates the two comes down to one simple thing: setting specific and challenging goals.

However, this doesn’t mean you should try to do everything at once. In fact, trying to reach the stars is often a recipe for failure. If you want to go big, you have to think small. Break big goals into smaller goals and start from there.

What’s Wrong with “Thinking Big?”

We keep hearing that we can accomplish anything we want, whether it’s saving the world or becoming an astronaut. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to happen. Sure, you could do it, but it will take years of hard work. For this reason, it’s so important to take small steps toward your goals.

The truth is, what you need to do is to think big in detail. It’s necessary to have detailed information, plans, knowledge, and skills for your big goals to become a reality. That won’t happen overnight.

A big idea doesn’t guarantee success. Anyone can have ideas, but only a few can bring them to life. When thinking big, it’s easier to miss the small details and make costly mistakes. If you fail, you’ll feel disappointed and have a hard time starting all over.

For example, many people dream of building a million-dollar business. However, they haven’t yet learned how to make even $1. To succeed, think big in increments. Focus on making your first dollar, then your first $100, then $1,000, and so on.

Change Your Habits to Change Your Life

Whether you want to become the next Steve Jobs, launch a successful project, or climb up the career ladder, you need to start with baby steps. Swap any habits that hold you back for habits that move you forward.

Let’s say you always find excuses to skip your workout. By doing that you’ll never manage to lose those extra pounds and get in shape.

Commit yourself to hit the gym at least three times a week. Take it seriously just like you do with your job or family time. A month later, schedule four workouts a week.

In the meantime, make small changes to your diet. Do one thing at a time. For instance, you could ditch the sugar during week one, cut back on junk food the second week, cook your meals from fresh ingredients the third week, and so on.

Think small to go big, and the results will follow!

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