As I was first starting my career, I had heard of a philosophy that my employer had: “Make small incremental changes. Don’t just look for the big ideas. Think small and be effective.”
That philosophy was called 1% Change. Simply put, she thought that if we look for ideas that are easy to implement, inexpensive, and done without a large effort (in time and resources) we could make a significant difference long term.
It took a number of years to sink in, but I realized that she was right. Too many times, I (and many other people I was around) looked for the next big idea rather than what they could do today and gain from. Yes, big ideas are important, and yes, big ideas need to happen. But not every idea has to be big. Sometimes simple is simply better.
If you own or run a business, what can you do today to make a difference in your revenue or expenses? Not big, but small; and when I say small, I mean it. Like 1% small. Back in 2002 I owned a real estate investing company; My business partner and I did well but were always looking how we could do better. Our offices were located on the 2nd floor of a retail strip center and we had almost no walk in traffic. Our offices were located in that center for our convenance only. To be honest, I am not sure who came up with the idea, but we decided to spend $5,700 on an exterior awning. The design was created, a vendor chosen and within 2 weeks or so, we had an awning.
Within a few days of installation, we started to see an increase in calls to our offices and we had 1 to 2 people knocking at our door each day. That idea led to a solid increase in opportunity for us almost immediately, and in the end, more revenue. That awning taught me to think small and to think consistently.…