“Think big.” It’s an oft-used phrase – but what does it really mean?
My co-founders and I built PriceMinister.com to solve a big gap between consumers and merchants in matching supply and demand. As a result, we became France’s number one e-commerce marketplace and sold to Rakuten in June 2010. Our story about creating that enterprise was a great case of turning a vision into a reality. And now, with lessons learned from my previous endeavour, I founded Shopcade.com to begin a second act. It’s through this experience I can offer some insight on how to approach starting a business on a micro or macro level.
When beginning anything – a project, a business, etc. – the sage business wisdom has been to work methodically, moving step by step toward the goal. There is no formula for success, every situation is different and requires a unique approach; however, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the chances of making it to the top increase significantly if you think big and plan carefully.
Big insights and lofty goals can produce similarly-sized results, so thinking without limits is the critical first step in making your mark. I get asked about the quest for successful entrepreneurship quite often, so I wanted to share four of my favorite tips to keep in mind when designing your business’s destiny:
- Watch out for the weeds. Even when you are into execution, never forget the larger vision, and don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked. Create a product roadmap, organize your day in terms of what has to get done, and always take time to see the forest beyond the trees. By building a complementary internal team of people, you can further create and carry out your vision as a leader.
- Think big, but start small. Remember, all companies start small (Apple is one great example!) so don’t get discouraged if you don’t come immediately crashing out of the gates. Use the time to hone your craft to the best of your abilities. Great companies grow slowly and by associating themselves with bigger partners and customers. Go for the big fish to help build your credibility early and you will be perceived as larger than you are. Always start building patents for your products from day one to protect your IP.
- Build your worth. Get VC funding the right way: By thinking big and giving yourself the means for your ambitions. Look for an investment partner with experience in launching successful companies in your field and a track record for success. Money is only part of the opportunity VCs provide to start ups; expertise, key contacts and know-how in your market are the other critical components not to be overlooked.
- Foster a culture of involvement. Both your users and your staff need to be able to be vocal and express your big vision for you.
Above all, know that thinking big gives you the ability to accomplish more, achieve your goals and generate positive momentum that creates the perfect storm for sustained success as an entrepreneur. Good luck! Do you have any favorite tips to share? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.