In business, taking massive steps can be nerve-wracking and worrisome. Why? Because it’s the major decisions and leaps forward that people notice and remember.
Apple introduced the iPhone and the methods in which we gather information and communicate and were changed forever. LEGO has taken audacious steps over the last couple of decades and expanded its toy franchise into video games, movies and TV.
Big steps. To big results.
Luckily, not every move you make with your business or in your personal life needs to be of earth-shattering significance. Sometimes, it’s the small steps that eventually lead to big rewards.
Shawn Burcham, CEO and founder of PFSbrands, has stated that there was once a time when he didn’t believe in meetings. He thought they were a waste of time, mostly because of his own experience in which meetings were in fact, a waste of time.
But as businesses grow, meetings become a necessity for communicating within a large organization. So, Shawn took the small step of instituting regularly scheduled meetings at PFSbrands, which over the years have been critical to accomplishing personal, departmental and company-wide goals.
What other small steps can a business implement that will pay big dividends? Here are a few examples:
Make a habit of setting goals
It may seem very basic, but setting goals is crucial to success both in a personal and professional setting. Everyone in your company should be setting goals and regularly reviewing those goals to check their progress. Sounds easy enough, but it's one small step that many people often don’t take. That’s why just the act of setting goals already gives you a competitive advantage.
Write down those goals
According to a 2015 study by psychologist Gail Matthews, people who wrote down their goals were 33% more successful in achieving them than those who didn't write them down. Setting goals is a good first step, but don’t just memorize them. Writing them down is crucial - and makes the goal real. Having tangible proof that you set your goal will help lead you to actually achieve it.
Build an accountability system
One of the best ways to make sure you follow through is to create a network of people who will hold you accountable to your goals. If no one knows you set a goal, it’s easy to forget or ignore it. But if there are people who know about your goal, and better yet, are depending on you to accomplish it, then you are more likely to follow through. In business, it’s helpful when everyone understands the overall business goals as well as other department's goals. That way, there's accountability.
Stop trying to do everything
Ask yourself what duties you can pass on to others - what's not a productive use of time and energy for you or for the company? Don't make the mistake of hanging onto responsibilities far longer than necessary; everything from accounting, to email management, to sales management can be passed on. As a leader in a growing company, take that small step of finding things you can stop doing and you may be surprised at what kind of success that brings.
While each of these individually may be a small step, they are all important for personal growth and business success. If you don’t set goals, write them down, and work to improve, you’ll likely be the exact same person twelve months from now. Now, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. Being who you are is okay, but the question is: Are you content with being the same? Or do you want to be better?
Want more business advice? Check out Shawn Burcham's new book: Keeping Score with GRITT: Straight Talk Strategies for Success.