- Zechariah 4:10
Big things usually have a small beginning. Even the greatest Oak tree started as a tiny acorn and all great men and women started as little seeds in their mother’s womb. No one or nothing started huge and it takes at least ten years to achieve an overnight success. Small starts are essential and so are big dreams. Here are some keys to great small beginnings:
He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
- Luke 16:10
Be honest with yourself and learn the truth about who you are so that you can address any character flaws early on in your journey. Don’t wait until things have got out of hand or until you have made a mess of things to work on your character. Be faithful, don’t tolerate poor character.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.
- Proverbs 21:5
Be careful that you don’t rush ahead or jump into financial commitments in your small beginning. Keep your overheads low and your commitments to a minimum at first. Plan well, especially with finances and don’t rush into anything. Good old fashioned, diligent, consistent hard work, with calculated risk taking where necessary, will always pay off. Rushing around looking busy without careful, clear thinking will get you nowhere fast. Be careful, don’t rush.
Wise people live in wealth and luxury, but stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it.
- Proverbs 21:20
Using every last penny each time you get some money into your business is not wise and will keep you in a bad position for a long period of time. Use whatever money comes in to pay what you need to pay and put a portion aside. Wise use of money will lead to wealth and luxury so don’t be stupid, be wise.
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
- Proverbs 13:11
Working to gain money isn’t always the most effective way to make money. Take your time to build your business steadily. Earn trust with suppliers and clients. Relationships take time and a business build on relationship as opposed to quick, money grabbing sales, will last. It might seem frustrating at first but the best way to build your business well is to gather little by little. Get known. Allow people to know you. Chip away at your work while storing away little bits of money and by building good strong relationships. Be patient, your business will grown.
Getting to Your Big Dream
A huge part of your small beginning is to have a big dream. Once you are sure of what you want you need to know how to make it happen. It’s not essential to know every step from small to big but it is essential to have a clear vision for what you want and a rough idea of how you plan to get there, even though things will quite likely change along the way, at least have an idea of the general direction that you want to take.
One reason why having all these thoughts in place is essential is because you will need people to work with you as you go and you will need to tell them why and how they should join you on your journey. Nothing big will come from you pursuing your dream as a lone ranger; there will come a point when you will need people. Here are some essentials for achieving your big dream.
Write It Down
Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.
- Habakkuk 2:2
This verse from Habakkuk is the first model for writing a business plan and even for franchising. God told Habakkuk to 1) write the vision, 2) communicate it clearly and 3) set it in stone so that those that will work with him will be able to run as a result of these three steps. If God said this then it is pretty important don’t you think?
If you want to achieve your big dream then you should follow these three steps too. Writing it down forces you to clarify your thinking. Making it plain is so that other people can understand it in order to believe the vision and join you in working towards it. Even your clients will benefit from knowing your vision and knowing where you are heading.
Setting it in stone means that there are some things that are not negotiable and will never change. These can be your values, moral and the heartbeat of your business. Carefully decide what these things are and then set them in stone, make sure that even you never change them.
Finally, you can use what you have written to train staff, team members and even franchises and if everything is set out clearly then they will be able to run fast and help you achieve your dream.
Work Out the Steps
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it - lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?
- Luke 14:28 - 30
Planning in key and using a business plan is a great way to work out the next steps. Don't wait until your business has failed to realise that you got it wrong! Getting your business plan right is a sure way to get your business right! Your business plan is not necessarily created to apply for funding, in fact I would say that funding is the smallest reason for writing a plan. A business plan is a fantastic way to capture exactly what your business is about, what is important to you and how you intend to make your business work. 80% of small businesses without a business plan will fail in their first 5 years.
Writing something down is the first step toward making it happen but sadly the number one business mistake is to skip the planning phase. If business owners understood the power of their business plan they would spend more time writing it, fine tuning it, reflecting on it and even work shopping it with other business owners.
Advantages of a Business Plan
• Clarifies your thinking
• Creates a clear vision, purpose and strategy
• Identifies problem areas
• Minimises legal problems
• Forces you to be realistic about finances
Top Business Plan Mistakes
• Spelling and grammar is overlooked resulting in a sloppy plan.
• The plan is too vague or incomplete.
• Inadequate research is conducted.
• The company's purpose/objective is vague.
• Unrealistic financials
• Ignorance of competitors
Top Business Plan Tips
• Be concise - get to the point.
• Be visual – use graphs, charts and images.
• Be creative – add your own flavour.
• Be realistic – there is really no such thing as a ‘get rich quick’ plan.
• Be open – get and value feedback from people you trust.
Believe In Your Heart
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
- Proverbs 23:7
You will become who you believe you are and you will achieve what you believe you can achieve. Belief in yourself and in the God who created you is the one thing that will truly propel you forward or hold you back. Check your heart and make sure that you believe that you can do what you have set at to do and then don’t stop until you achieve it. Write down some affirmations if you need to and make sure that there is nothing in your mind that is holding you back from being all that you can be.