in General

How to think big on a small budget

“Dear sir,

I recently saw your website, read some of your articles – which I think are very well written, but the thing is – I run a very small business and I don’t think any of the things you say are actually practical. Running a small business is time-consuming and it’s expensive, I don’t have the time or money to “think big” – how can a small business think big on a small budget?”

That’s a great question.

Thinking big is seen by many as something done by big companies, by marketing gurus, by people who write blogs – or people who may or may not have had the experience of actually running a small business.

I know from personal experience that running a small business is time-consuming and it can be very expensive to run, to operate and yet still have the time/money to think big.

Think big doesn’t mean “Oh I can do this too, and I can add that” — most businesses don’t have the capacity to do more than what they offer or provide – what think big means is how you can deliver more, how you promote better, how you work smarter.

The most crucial aspect of thinking big that people forget is — “is it actually practical?” — “can we actually do this” and “how do we do this?”

A bad example of thinking big

Recently a colleague of mine had a great street-smart marketing idea to promote resturants – he thought big about how to promote it, about “catching the big fish” – but once I asked “how do you actually deliver it?” he stared blankly – as if it were somebody else’s job to help deliver it.

If you say you can do a particular job and then can’t actually deliver it, that’s not thinking big at all – it’s called “winging it”.

Thinking big must be practical – sure shoot for the moon, think about going nationwide, think about going global – think how much you can make and think about how many contacts you will see — but always think “okay, this is the idea – how do we actually deliver it”

So, getting back to the question — how can a small business think big on a small budget?

Well, think big on low-cost ways of marketing, and promoting your business… think big on attending at least 1 or 2 networking events, and put a budget on it and ask is the investment worth the hassle.

It might be that you can’t do it, or it’s too expensive or the risk isn’t worth the investment – you can always do it later, you can always downsize your idea or do it bits.

To think big doesn’t mean you think without rules, without a budget — all you need is an idea and know how to deliver it – be it advertising, promotions or marketing.

In short, a small business *can* think big – simply choose one area you want to think big, be practical about the idea, then shoot for the moon!