What’s the Difference Between a Smaller Company Verses a Multi-Million Dollar Company?
I have built several multimillion dollars companies and I have many friends who own smaller companies. When I look at the difference between small verses larger businesses, there often are three key things that stand out. The larger companies have built processes, focus on execution and are very focused on their market. I strongly believe that if you are a smaller company and you want to be a bigger company, that if you focus on these 3 areas, you will grow faster.
It has been interesting building one start up to the next. The first thing I do now when starting a new companies is focus on building processes that allow us to get up and running super fast. Building the website, getting leads coming in, identifying our sales process, defining workflow, defining the type of employees we need, interviewing key hires, getting technology in place, and many others processes are the same regardless if I am starting a new staffing company, software company or finance company. The sooner I can define these processes and assign them, the quicker I can get money flowing in the door and building the company.
The second thing I start to work on is making sure that those processes are executed on and that I have measurements in place to make sure that we are improving. I love great execution and once I have identified which processes are the most important to drive sales and profits, I pay a lot of attention to those. I am also looking at what type of people or technology I need to execute my business better and with more consistently. I am then looking at what work I can delegate off my desk to either technology or people.
The third area I am constantly working on is identifying the market we are going after, what my competitors are doing, how we are different, what our goals are, and more. I use the one page strategic plan by Vern Harnish as a daily working document. From before day one, I like building a one page business plan which helps clarify what our mission is, what is our best type of customer, the company culture I want, the yearly goals, and other key questions that help me/my staff better understand our focus. I don’t write that plan and then never look at it again. I review it often, update it regularly and make sure everyone at the company understands and buy into the key parts.
The coolest thing is that in the first year of my new business, I am super busy because I know what needs to be done and I know that I can’t get to the next level in our business until the basics are done. Once these basics are done then I am able to focus on the next phase, making us better then our competition.
The difference between a first time business owner, verses a serial entrepreneur, is that the serial entrepreneur is a start up pro. He knows exactly how to get up and running quickly and what is important to focus in on.
If you own a small business and you want to be better, build/document key business processes, work the heck out of executing on those key processes and know your market.
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