Volume 40, Issue 5 May 2005
Stay Small or be
Positive Steps to Ensure Your Place in Business
by George Hedley
Have you noticed that people who think and act small, stay small? And those who think and act big, seem to be the ones who make it happen? Being huge is attitude, altitude and active action. It is getting past the little things that get in your way and hold you back.
It is being bigger than setbacks and obstacles that paralyze your progress. It is making a decision to set your sights higher. Being huge is taking risks and getting out of your comfort zone. It is positive action. It is more than doing. It is getting excited about the future and making big things happen.
1. Focus on revenue.
The secret to success in your business is to create revenue. Getting money from customers is the only way you can make a profit. Your business will only be successful when you have loyal customers—lots of them. An awesome finished project or great service doesn’t matter without customers. Focus 33 percent of your time on finding and creating revenue and invest 1 to 3 percent of your projected volume in marketing and sales activities.
2. Help others.
The key to creating lots of loyal customers is to help those who need what you offer and have the money to pay you what it’s worth. You are not a manufacturer, contractor, masonry contractor, architect or any other type of business. You are a value-added resource who helps customers solve their problems, make money and improve their lives. How do you help your customers? Do they know it and pay you big bucks for your help?
3. Learn from others.
When you spend time with successful people, you elevate yourself and seek higher levels of significance. When you observe the best, you get inspired to be the best. I have enjoyed breakfast every Thursday morning for ten years with six huge guys from different businesses and backgrounds. We challenge each other to do what’s right, make a difference and be better. What are you doing to surround yourself with people who raise your sights and inspire you to do more and be huge?
4. Differentiate or die trying.
There are lots of different companies who do business lots of different ways. Some offer unbelievably great service while others offer the minimum. Some do precision quality work while others do only what’s necessary. Some charge too much while others don’t charge enough. There is no set formula or standard way to be successful in business. However, there are sound principles to make some more successful than others. One key to secure profitable work today is your ability to set yourself apart from your competition. People will pay for different. People remember different. People like different. Most businesses are not very different than their top five competitors. What makes you different? Does your customer think you are different? Will they pay more for you than your competition?
5. Get involved.
It is impossible to get where you want to go without continuous improvement. In today’s fast paced economy, you have to grow 15 to 25 percent every year just to stay even. Your local industry association is a great place to discover better ways to do business, seek support, learn from others, watch the pros, get advice, be encouraged and make friends. Show up, get involved, help out on a committee, be visible, get active and be huge. Are you involved (really involved) in your industry? Are you making a contribution to your future?
Being huge starts with a decision—your decision to decide that you will make it happen.
Your future is a blank slate starting today. Only you are responsible for you.
Nothing is in your way except your decisions about your attitude and how you will spend your time. I am excited everyday that I can think, act and be huge. This attitude and altitude gives me an edge, an advantage and an outlook enabling me to go where I want to go and do what I want to do. Think small, stay small. Act small, be small. Think huge, act huge and be huge.
George Hedley owns a construction and development company and Hardhat Presentations in Costa Mesa, Calif.
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