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Five Lessons To Learn From Big Business When Growing Your Startup

Nimisha Brahmbhatt is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, who advises and consults for FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies and acts as a trusted business growth advisor to small/medium businesses globally. Here are her top tips to learn from the experiences of big businesses when growing a start up company.

Lesson 1: Have a Big Vision

Most would be entrepreneurs are a little nervous at the idea of starting a business, of course, it is daunting. Add to that the need for an ability to go on blind faith and lean into the big vision for your business, most people are put off.

Having a big vision when starting a business is equally as important as the business idea itself. Much like big corporates, small businesses also need to have a vision of a goal or a focus they are working towards.

In my experience working with corporations that always have a big vision, I find having a defined, timed end goal and a crystal clear idea of how that would look, allows consultants, analysts and managers work backwards and break that vision into its component parts and the exact steps they will need to take in order to achieve it. You can do exactly the same. So think BIG!

Lesson 2: Strive for Diversity and Creative inputs

Big businesses benefit from diverse teams who come together and (more often than not) become creative forces to be reckoned with.

I know as a new startup, that isn’t going to a reality for your business but none the less, you should strive for this. Lean into initiatives which give you the same experience but designed for those starting out, such as Business Growth Board, co-working spaces, shared working arrangements and collaborations on projects which have common goals are great ways to inject exactly this and grow!

Lesson 3: Plan like a Big Business

The biggest downfall of small businesses is that they don’t build their business for growth. This comes back to having a Big Vision. Most small business founders build their business based on what they think they can achieve just by themselves but not what they could achieve if they were to have the team or resources or finances that would be available to them.

I always say that learning from a corporate best lesson is to really plan and build your business like it’s going to be big if that’s what you want because when you plan it that way, you will ultimately build it that way.

Lesson 4: Be Customer-centric

Big businesses build with the customer at the heart of operations. This means that every single experience, every single service and the level of professionalism of all these things are built with the customer in mind. This, of course, needs to be the case for a big business because there is a need for many people to simultaneously work towards a common goal. Even as a small business it’s so important for you to build your business with the customer in mind.

Even if you’re just one person who’s delivering the service and think that you can take care of it all by yourself ultimately, when you begin to grow, if these things aren’t in place this is where many, many, many small businesses will fall over fall over because they haven’t kept the customer at the forefront. They haven’t thought about this is being something that’s really important for them. Those that do deliver accelerated results because they are aware that the customer is the chairman and if they are not happy, there won’t be a business. Such companies are able to diffuse that ethos throughout the organisation and it is picked up even by new employees if it is a strong enough pillar.

Lesson 5: Take Holidays

I bet you weren’t expecting this one. This is actually a very important lesson for many startups and entrepreneurs to learn, especially those who are just starting their businesses. It can be very tempting to just work in or on the business 24/7 because we want to grow and flourish but if you think like a big business, from the director to the clerk, they ALL make sure that they take their allocation of leave. From both a financial and personal self-care perspective it is important to take leave.

As a business owner, it can be tempting to be driven by passion and do everything yourself. You do it quicker, smarter etc but you are always switched on. In challenging times you may have to do it all anyway because you’re the only person working on your business but taking vacation is one habit I always recommend every single person to enforce from day one which is to take the time out because it’s when you take the time to refresh your mind body and soul you are able to get so much more creative about what it is you want to bring to the table when you return.

About the expert

Nimisha Brahmbhatt is a British based Kenyan serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, who advises and consults for FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies and acts as a trusted business growth advisor to small/medium businesses globally. She has consulted for world-class companies including Centrica, Shell and E.on Energy after launching her successful consulting career with Accenture. Nimisha has been instrumental in the set-up and expansion of numerous small businesses including her own sustainable fashion house, The Backpacking Chef and iShootPeople Photography working with them to develop high-end, high-quality services helping them secure notable and celebrity clients across the globe.

Nimisha has recently developed a business school for startups and founded a CIC foundation to reinvest company profits into good causes worldwide. Nimisha’s work and businesses have been featured in numerous UK and international publications including Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Dubai Magazine and Gigabit.

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