Recently a subscriber to my Great Idea, Phillip German, from Lewis Center, Ohio, sent in a question asking for some input on how to implement the advice I give here weekly. Specifically, he asked for insight on how to implement the ideas and how to succeed with a smaller company with operations in the $500,000-$1,000,000 range. So, here goes, Phillip.
The way you implement ideas at a big company is the same way you implement them at a small company. I know that is hard to believe and understand, but it’s very true.
I remember around 12 years ago giving a keynote to a very large group of managers from a publicly traded, multi-million-dollar company. I remember being worried if my small business message would resonate with their “big business.” And you know what? It did, perfectly.
Every company should do 3 things to implement ideas.
- Create a Culture of Constant Improvement. Never ever be satisfied with where you are; keep looking for new and better ways to do things. Try new things. If you make a mistake, don’t look at that as a problem; look at mistakes as learning, very valuable learning. Demand that your people give you new ideas and reward them for this. This works for big and small companies.
- Constantly Communicate What’s Important at Your Company. I mean constantly; each and every day is fine. Share your mission statement (Don’t have one? Get one!). Reward those behaviors you want to see more of. Squash the behaviors you don’t want and remember that “whatever you allow, you encourage.” This works for big and small companies.
- Listen to your clients. I say all the time that your clients will tell you what you need to do to be successful; you just have to ask them and then listen. This works for big and small companies.
How can anyone argue that big companies do anything differently than small companies? I don’t think you can. At small companies it means the owner has the responsibility of doing all the above-mentioned and that’s tough at times. But no one is ever as passionate as the owner is. At big companies more people have to help out with the 3 items above, but rarely can the passion of the owner be outdone, so big companies are at a disadvantage there.
Phillip, great question. Moral of the Story? Business is Business, Leadership is Leadership. Get to work, everyone!
PS Note that the dates for the Sales & Marketing Symposium in Dayton, Ohio, have changed. The new dates are Friday, March 25th, with an optional tour of Grunder Landscaping Co. the afternoon before on Thursday, March 24th. Sign up today!