Including MNFL Design I have started three small businesses. The first one was in 2009 in the US. Together with my friend and business partner we designed German inspired children’s wear and accessories. The second one was in Dubai in 2013 and again together with someone else we started importing and distributing high quality, leather children’s shoes from Portugal. And in 2015 I started MNFL Design.
Overall I’ve gone through a huge learning curve and made some big mistakes. I was also more or less serious about being an entrepreneur at different stages of my life. For example MNFL Design started very slowly and only after the birth of my fourth daughter I began to think big.
Over the years however I have come to the conclusion that it only makes sense to start a small business if you think big! You need to have big dreams and visions, otherwise you will never grow big and be profitable and get where you (secretly) want to be.
However the first step you need to take is seriously ask yourself, and may be your partner, why you want to start this business. Do you want to start a proper business or is it more like a slightly bigger hobby?
If you decide you want to start a business you have to THINK big in order to BE big!
I found the quote above from Steve Jobs while I was working on this post and I thought it was so inspirational that I made it my screensaver and desktop background image to be reminded every day that a little bit crazy is ok!
Download my free desktop image here
This quote is from Steve Jobs - I love being reminded that a little bit crazy is ok :-)
Why you should think big for your small business
1. Do it right from the beginning
Ok, I have done so many mistakes and done so many things double because I thought I can save some money or start small and grow. And I have come to the realization: it just does not work! If you want to do something, do it right - from the beginning! You will be rewarded afterwards by not wasting time.
Do your research, listen to people who have experience and done it already. Then spend the time and money to do it right.
When you think big from the beginning you see the whole business in a different way. You allow yourself to have bigger dreams and you feel more professional. If you just think you are too small to do things, you will never do the big things. If you think big, you will have bigger goals and do bigger things - quicker. You will feel more confident!
2. You can’t do it all
As a small business owner we tend to want to do it all ourselves. And I can tell you, it is not possible. There are not enough hours in the day to do it all yourself! I have been there and I can only recommend to outsource where you can.
Most of us start with an idea, then we find a name for the company. We go off and design our own logo and business cards, we get a business site on Facebook and other social media channels and then want to design a website. We do some searching and start to try and build the site and suddenly we realize it takes a lot longer than thought.. I have also been there! For my other two businesses I outsourced the development and I can tell you it was worth it.
And although I know I shouldn’t do it all, I still find myself trying and doing things myself I could outsource. The reasons are that one I am interested and secondly I think I could save the money. However it is hardly ever true..
Turn it around and think about how much time you could save when you outsource from the start, time you can use to actually earn money! And you can hire someone who is a professional and can do it right from the start.
Having said that I do think you should know your business inside out and should know what you are outsourcing and what that person you hired is doing so you can judge if it’s done right or not!
Outsource but know exactly what you are outsourcing!
3. Invest in your dream
The decision of starting a small business is not done over night. You have usually thought about this step for a while and might have had this dream of being your own boss even longer. So when you finally take the step do it right and invest in your dream!
You are going to invest a lot of time and energy into it so do it right and also invest some money in order to make your time worthwhile.
I don’t mean you have to have huge amounts of money and need the latest technology etc. But you need to realize that there are a few things you need to have. For me that was for example my design programs, a good computer and as I said above I also hired help.
Think big and invest in the future.
4. Believe in yourself
You can do this! Don’t let your confidence come in the way of thinking big. Allow yourself to have a big vision!
So many entrepreneurs don’t even start because they are afraid of failure. And so many think they are not good enough to grow or have a big business.
But remember: everyone started small!
Don’t compare yourself to someone who already has a big business. Or someone with a different financial or educational or career background. We all start from different places but we with persistance and hard work we can all get there and grow. So believe in yourself allow yourself to think big!
And lastly, if you believe in yourself, everyone else will as well! And if your surroundings believe in you, it inspires and pushes to grow! I am talking from experience here :-)
5. Take one step at a time
Don’t do it all at once. You need to have a vision of all the things you want to do and achieve, so think big, but don’t try to do them all at once. Determine which steps are the most important ones and make a plan. Set goals and plan dates by which you want to have them achieved and once you have achieved one, move on to the next.
6. Plan for growth
Ok, and now that you have allowed yourself to think big, imagine the future. Close your eyes and see how your business will look like in 1 or in 5 years!
What do you see?
What do you need to do in order for that to happen? What do you need to plan for? Where do you need to invest now? What systems need to be able to grow?
Be prepared to grow. Build systems and resources so that some things can run on autopilot while you are working.
Never forget everyone has started small!
Good luck with your business adventure and send me an email to tell me about your business and dreams and I will be cheering you on!
Btw, Dubai is a great example of thinking big :-) Even if others don't believed in the visions of Dubai, it kept thinking big and achieved great things! And I am not saying this because I live here :-)
p.s. all this is my personal opinion and experience and please do contact me if you have any questions!
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