4 reasons why your small business will never be the next Apple.

Small Business Dreaming

Apple Inc. was started in 1976 with an initial investment of just $500 and a $25,000 order. It’s now the world’s largest business, worth more than $700 billion in market capitalization. Apple’s history is folklore today, but if Apple can become a behemoth in less than four decades, then so can you. The question is, what’s stopping you?

Check out this list of four ways you may be sabotaging your small business.

#1: You don’t dream big.

Steve Jobs, the legendary visionary CEO of Apple, always dreamed big. Be it the Mac in 1984 or the iPad in 2010, he focused on the ‘next big thing’, changing entire industries in the process and capturing the hearts of generations of Apple fans. As he famously said during the launch of the first Mac “We’re gambling on our vision, and we would rather do that than make “me, too” products. Let some other companies do that. For us, it’s always the next dream.”

Takeaway: Do you take the time to dream about your next big success? Are you dreaming big enough? What actions are you taking to make today’s dreams tomorrow’s reality?

#2: You don’t make excellence a habit.

All successful businesses pursue excellence relentlessly. Steve Jobs was no exception. In his biography about Jobs, Walter Isaacson writes, “Some leaders push innovations by being good at the big picture; others do so by mastering the details. Jobs did both relentlessly.” Centuries ago, the great Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Takeaway: Are you willing to go the extra-mile to make your product or service exceptional, or are you resting on your laurels? What are you doing to create a culture of excellence in your enterprise?

#3: You don’t focus on your core competencies.

Apple’s core competency is its user-centric design capability, and that’s where the company directs its energy. Apple has outsourced several parts of its operation, including manufacturing. And it’s still a gigantic success.

Takeaway: Are you focusing on improving your core competencies, or are you losing your edge by trying to do everything in-house? Outsourcing may be the one solution you haven’t considered.

#4: You don’t stay ahead of the curve.

Technology is rapidly evolving. One of the key reasons for Apple’s success is its ability to innovate rapidly to bring new and relevant products to the marketplace. Old forms of marketing, collections, and product design don’t work anymore. Business owners need to leverage game changers such as cloud, social media and analytics to stay ahead of the curve.

Takeaway: Have you tried to crowdsource your design? Do you have rapid feedback loops in built into your processes? Or are you still following old models that are no longer effective?

Are you making any of these mistakes? If so, what are you doing to correct your course of action? And if your core competency isn’t answering the phones, then ask us about our two-week free trial! SAS’ live operator support is a building block to success for small businesses just like yours!

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