I’m on a mission.

These are not words I wrote without considerable thought. I’m not usually one for “missions”. I’m not big on rah-rah, rev em up, whip em into a frenzy style of… anything really. But I genuinely think this mission is important, and I believe in it.

My mission is to rid the small business world of small thinking.

There are literally a million small businesses in this country. Small business is the backbone of the economy. It employs almost half the private sector workforce. The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (which seems like a lot of departments all crammed into one department, but that’s a discussion for another time…) tells us that around half a million people are involved in early stage entrepreneurialism at any given time. Australia is second only to the US of both emerging and young businesses. We’re an entrepreneurial bunch it seems.

So why then do we limit our thinking so severely? Let me explain what I mean.  When small business does its growth planning, it usually goes something like this:

Management wants to increase revenue and profit so they push for growth.
Sales tells you the competition is getting tough and customers aren’t spending.
Marketing tells you why things have changed and you’ll have to spend big on a killer digital strategy or perish.
Production will tell you why they can’t produce the stuff that cheap, and 
Distribution will tell you why they can’t get it to the customer that quick and… 

You’ll settle for 7% increase on last year!

So, in an effort to counteract that norm, and rid the small business world of small thinking, I’d like to spend the next few minutes with you, focusing on how thinking big – or BIGthink! as we like to call it – can help fast track your business growth.

I’ve been fortunate over the past 20 years or so, to work with many small business owners – and owners of some not-so-small businesses – as well as global brands and many of the country’s leading franchisors.

I’ve spoken about business growth and franchising, written about it and was a franchisee in the late 80’s long before it was a cool thing to do.

I’ve worked with businesses in Australia and Singapore and South Korea and half a dozen other countries and found there was a common thread, no matter which country or what type of business:

Businesses that get big have a big mindset – from the start.

So here’s what I invite you to consider for a moment. What would it take to grow your business by 1000%? Make it ten times bigger, ten times more profitable and ten times more rewarding than it is today? What would it take to 10X your business?

Now, I know, some of you are thinking – come on mate, 10 times bigger?? I’d be happy with 10% bigger.

Ok, but think about this:

What if thinking BIG, thinking about what it would take to actually 10X your business could drive actions, innovation, invention and creativity? Would that be good? I think so.

What if it helped you look at entirely new ways of creating a more exciting, more profitable and more rewarding business. What if it encouraged you to reconsider your products and services and business model and sales strategy and strategic partners? Would that be good? Sure

What if that process helped create asset value in your business that meant you could sell it for much more when you want out?

What if that same process resulted in 10% growth, or 30%… instead of 7?

BIGthink! in the context of business growth is not about being flippant or taking silly risks. Rather it’s about stretching your thinking and taking calculated, well-planned, supported risks within the framework of a structured growth program that moves you toward your goals.

Speaking of goals, most business owners aren’t clear on theirs. Not just the business goals, but those that relate to building a lifestyle in the medium and long term. Whilst the general rule is that small business re-invests in itself, it’s worth considering that the barriers to entry in many sectors are falling or have disappeared altogether. The “asset” that is your business may not be worth as much as you think in 10 or 15 years time. Developing a strategy to invest outside of your business is wise. Having a clear wealth creation strategy, managing finances effectively and reviewing them regularly is also good business practice and good sense.

If you’re a business owner, this country needs you! So, I applaud you and wish you well as you BIGthink! your way to success.

John Di Natale is Founder and Managing Director of BIGthink! Business Booster, a highly sought-after speaker and business growth specialist. The BIGthink! MasterPlan and Business Booster programs are specifically designed to help you grow your business faster and build the life you really want! www.bigthinkbusinessbooster.com

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