86. How do small companies get big?
As I write this I am in Columbus Ohio and just took my rental car back. I didn't have to worry about how to find my way around because I had a GPS (Global Positioning System) telling me where to go. All I had to do was put in my destination and, like magic, I was given step by step detailed instructions on where to go.
Here's what I was thinking. "Wouldn't it be great if I had a GPS that would guide me towards my goal? I could program in my goal and get minute to minute feedback telling me if I am on course, or if I need to change direction or change my activities."
You and I actually do have a GPS already installed. It just has to be programmed. And once you enter your destination you will be guided with surgical precision.
The first part of the programming process is to choose a specific destination. It has to be specific. You can't program a GPS to head south; you have to enter an address, or at least a city. It can't be a destination that is unreachable or unclear.
In programming our personal GPS the input must be realistic, measurable, obtainable and most important, specific. You have either reached your destination, or you have not. There should be no gray area.
For example, you might program in more customers. However, programming in 250 more customers per week is a much more specific destination for your GPS to focus on. Same thing with programming in open a second location, or increase the size of every order. They are not specific enough.
Here's the main difference between small companies and large companies:
A large company has a CEO whose responsibility is to create a specific detailed plan and present it to the board of directors and stockholders. They know exactly where they are going and how they are going to get there. They have daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly reports to tell them if they are heading towards their destination. A small private company usually reports only to itself.
For a small company to really grow the first step is to prepare a presentation. One that would be detailed enough to sell potential stockholders on why they should invest their money with your company. Where you will be in six months, one year and five years from now.
Without a clear roadmap it is like a recent trip I took to Quebec. Everything was in French. I couldn't read a single road sign. If I didn't have my GPS I would have been completely lost. However, all I had to do was enter the address of the hotel I was heading to and presto, step-by-step instructions were given to me.
What is the address you want to end up at? Write it down. Give your mind a clear picture of what it looks like and presto! Step-by-step instructions will come to you almost like magic.