Five Things Small Businesses Can Learn from Billion-Dollar Success Stories

Everyone knows that in the business world, you have to be prepared to crawl before learning how to fly. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot set your sights on the downright spectacular from day one.

While smaller businesses struggle to expand and grow, the biggest businesses face challenges with remaining competitive and relevant. Nevertheless, having hit the big time in the first place, the world’s biggest business success stories have more than a thing or two to teach the ‘little guy’.

So with this in mind, here’s a quick rundown of five key lessons all small businesses can learn from their billion-dollar counterparts:

Lesson 1: Know Yourself
First and foremost, one of the few things every big business agrees on is the importance of fully knowing and understanding yourself. Roughly translated, for a brand to succeed, those behind it need to have a clear and comprehensive understanding of what it stands for, what it offers, what makes it different, where it is going and how it intends to get there. The less clear and precise you are in terms of who and what you are, the more difficult you are going to find it to progress.

Lesson 2: Stick to Original Principles
The founding principles upon which you build your business in the first place should be stuck to like glue at all times. The more you falter from the path and change your philosophy, the more difficult it is going to be for anyone to take you seriously. This is of course deeply connected with the above points – your principles and founding philosophies being a core part of who you are as a person and a brand.

Lesson 3: Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Brand Building
Regardless of how outstanding, affordable and perhaps even necessary your products and services may be, this doesn’t mean you will thrive…or even survive. The importance of brand establishment and building simply cannot be overstated. The thing to remember is that regardless of what it is you are doing and offering, chances are there are plenty of others doing something either identical or very similar. Branding is all about isolating and focusing on whatever it is that makes you unique, building authority and value in the eyes of your target audience. All of this goes far above and beyond simply selling products or services of any kind.

Lesson 4: Adapt to Change
While sticking with the founding principles of the business is important, so too is being flexible and open to change at all times. Pretty much every industry without exception has undergone radical transformation over recent years and is set to continue evolving at a frantic pace. Which in turn means that if you are not willing and able to adapt to change accordingly, you run the risk of being left behind before even getting off the ground.

Lesson 5: Take Smart Risks
Last but not least, you cannot expect to get ahead in any area of business if you are not willing to take certain risks. That said, there’s a big difference between calculated risk and the kind of risk that’s akin to rolling the dice with your future. In the small business world in particular, mastering the art of drawing the line between risks and opportunities can often make the difference between success and failure.