5 BIG Blessings that Come from Starting Small in Business

Small_BeginningsI have the blessing of working with many AMAZING women in business. They dream of having a successful business that impacts the lives of many. Deep down, many want to be the overnight success. When they are honest with themselves, they want to work hard, but only for a short period of time before they see BIG results. Most are praying for God to bless their business, which usually means with more clients, more sales and ultimately more money. I’ve heard many say, “this would be a huge success if only Oprah would endorse me” or “if I could just be a guest on Good Morning America, then I would be able to reach so many more people.”

I’ve recently watched the crumbling of a once very successful business. It’s been heartbreaking. The problems started with an inability to keep up with the demand, poor customer service, and ultimately growth that happened far quicker than they could handle. The owner of this company was endorsed by Oprah and appeared on Good Morning America, along with many other well-known shows. Her products are loved by many {including me}. Yet, I’m sure she feels as if her life and business are crumbling around her as she reads thousands of negative comments about her company, employees, and products. I’m praying fervently that she’s able to turn this around. The whole situation has left me wondering, how did this happen?

I can’t tell you how grateful I am that iBloom is not an overnight success. I’m so thankful that when I prayed for God to expand our territory, that He did it one person at a time, rather than by the thousands. During these last 7 years in business, I’ve discovered several BIG blessings that come from starting small.

#1: Core Values

Because iBloom started small, I was able to spend months crafting our iBloom Core Values. Though our mission has changed as the company as evolved, our core values have remained the same. Our core values are what drives our company. Every team member strives to live by these values. I teach on one of these values every week during our team meetings {though my team probably doesn’t even realize it}. All business decisions are made based on these core values. Had iBloom grown rapidly, then I probably wouldn’t have made the time to step back and decide what values I wanted to drive our company.

#2: Cherish EVERY Customer

Our customers aren’t just a number to us, they are real people who invest their hard earned money to buy our products and services. Every time an order is placed, at least one person on our team prays for that person and the investment they just made. We want each customer to get back ten-fold what they just invested. Many of our customers have become like family to us. When you grow at a slow, steady pace then you have the time to really cherish every customer.

#3: Go Above & Beyond to Provide Great Customer Service

Whether you have one customer or thousands, make sure that you’re going above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service. The more customers you serve, the harder this will become. Therefore, be sure to put some systems in place now for serving your customers well.

  • Create policies and procedures for your company {yes, even if it’s just you!}
  • How can you automate key parts of your business, so your clients aren’t waiting for you to take action? {Use an online calendar like TimeTrade where clients can schedule their own appointments. Use an online shopping cart, so customers can purchase directly from your website. Create personalized autoresponder messages that auto-deliver content to customers as they request it.}
  • What will be your response time for emails and phone calls? Put this in writing and then make sure that you create dedicated time in your schedule for follow-up.
  • Create a Client Care Strategy. How will you honor new clients, celebrate Birthdays, and give little just because gifts?

#4: Grow at a Pace You Can Handle

By starting small, you’re able to grow at a pace you can handle. Today, we have 11 women who serve on our iBloom Team. I can’t even begin to imagine what would have happened if we started with all of those people. I definitely wasn’t ready to lead that many people. iBloom started with just me – I did everything from life coaching, cleaning the toilet, speaking, accounting, graphic design, social media {back with it was just MySpace}, shopping, standing in line at the post office to ship products, etc.

However, we slowly grew by adding people with different specialties who could own the area where they were the expert. As we’ve grown, I’ve trained each person, so they are a leader in their area and they serve our customers just like I would. I want them to know exactly how I would handle a situation and do the same.  This isn’t because I think my way is the best, but because when someone interacts with one of our team members, I want them to get the same loving care!

#5: Build a Strong Foundation

Ultimately, starting small allows you to build a strong foundation for your business. A strong foundation for your business comes from creating your mission and core values that will drive your company, cherishing every single customer, going above and beyond to serve your customers well, and providing exceptional products and services.  Don’t despise your small beginnings; instead be intentional about using this time to build a strong foundation for your business.

I recently had the opportunity to attend Dave Ramsey’s Entreleadership MasterSeries. Many may see Dave Ramsey as an overnight success. However, that’s actually far from the truth. It has taken him many years to get at the place he is today.  During the event, I got to be a guest on his radio show, so I asked him about this very thing. What advice would you give those just starting out who really want to be an overnight success?

Dave gave some great advice, but then referenced this story about the Tortoise and the Hare:

The story concerns a Hare who ridicules a slow-moving Tortoise and is challenged by the tortoise to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the course. When the Hare awakes however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him.

What if one of God’s great blessings is allowing your business to grow at a slow, steady pace?

Kelly Thorne Gore

http://ibloom.co

Comments

  1. Kelly,
    I’m super glad we found you. Thanks for all your inspiration! We are working hard with intention here and are growing leaps and bounds!

    M.

  2. Kelly,

    This article was such a blessing to me and so true. “Do not despise the day of small beginnings”. I’m making a commitment to cherish every customer 🙂

  3. Great article. Thanks for posting this.

  4. Wow- what a thoughtful and encouraging post, Kelly. We should never despise small beginnings as God grows our territory one step at a time. Thanks for this reminder!

  5. Great story and really puts things into perspective as we have to be grateful for the growing pains as it takes time when building a business that really serves others.

  6. *Deep breathe. And exhale.*

    Just what I needed, Kelly. Thank you for these reasons to love my place now.

  7. This popped up on my newsfeed today and not a moment too soon. <3 It was a blessing that God knew I needed. I so love the heart of iBloom and am so blessed to be working with you all

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