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Key Traits to Separate a Small Business from a Big Business

Updated: May 3, 2019

Written By: Jonny O'Brien, Co-Creator of VOYAGEPRO.CO


The journey for success has been at the center of human nature since man first created tools. We have a built in instinct to constantly upgrade, improve, scale, whatever it is we do for the rewards it comes with. Modern society gives us the tools and opportunities to scale whatever we do more freely than ever before. There has never been a period in time greater than now for someone to attempt to scale a company or start their own business due to the technologies at hand. One of my personal idols: Gary Vaynerchuk discusses in depth on how, because of social media and other technology never seen before, just about anything is possible. This blog goes out to those who want to start their own business and take that journey into the great abyss of infinite possibilities and risks to try and bring life to something they could only have dreamed would be possible. When I began my journey, and as I continue to travel on this journey there are certain traits and qualities that I began to pick up on that have helped me out greatly. These are both attitude and decision making traits when it comes to starting something larger than yourself. I call the combination of these traits Big Business Energy. I believe if you want to start a successful business you must posses this energy.





Let's dive in: For someone to have a successful business or to succeed in any aspect of their professional ventures they must possess and adapt certain traits that not everyone has. These traits come both naturally and through experience. One thing that I believe is not everything can be learned. Some things must be taught or experienced, while other traits come naturally; many requiring a 100% core belief to follow the heart. A small business must acquire these slowly over time to scale their markets appropriately; following the vision and guidance of the creator(s).



The creator(s) of a business must have a vision and see the value in adding qualities to their company; willing to take many risks for the sake of the big picture. Think of it like a workout program: Nobody just wakes up one day and decides to workout non stop until they are fit. You must put the weights down and let your muscles relax and rebuild. Workouts happen in scheduled periods of time and over this time the person slowly gets stronger. You can not acquire Big Business Energy overnight. You will need to incrementally get there one trait at a time, giving each time to settle in.


There is nothing more important than passion when it comes to creating something larger than yourself. Passion is the single most important trait when very first starting out and will jumpstart your business to a level far greater. If you lack passion from the beginning you will burn out extremely fast. The idea you have is the spark and passion is the oxygen that continues to feed the flame. Without oxygen the flame will die out very fast.




Someone with Big Business Energy will match the right team members to relevant tasks, you have to get to know your team well to succeed. Lining up the stars is what makes scalability happen. The better fit someone is for the job the more efficient your creation will become. Slowly, tweak the people and positions until they match the companies values and mission. Passion will help guide you like a 6th sense for what direction things should be taken and the placement of people.


A clean and consistent image within the community is impossible to lack for a business to takeoff. This is important because you need people to see your logo; see the business name, see the work your business has created, and have a certain emotion get caused out of it. This emotion that your company gives off at its core should be the same with everyone. Something positive. Find that emotion that you want your company to create within people and run with it as fast as you can. Your business will start taking off like wildfire; weaving itself deep within the community. Build it in such a way that people will have a positive reaction when adding your business to the mix and a negative reaction if it is withdrawn. Make your company the cornerstone of a community. This emotion that people will feel when experiencing your business will create conversations. Word of mouth is the fuel to expand.



Negotiations regarding prices of your product or service may help your business out at the very start to build a good portfolio of your work, but stay away from negotiating the farther along you go. If you have ever been to a flea market you will notice that all the popup shops there are usually willing to negotiate. The vast majority of these “pop up” businesses are small. There is a proven correlation between the scalability of a business and the amount you negotiate. The only time negotiations are appropriate are in a partnership situation. If just 5% of your clients/customers are reoccurring, your business will become 60% more profitable in the long run. Weigh this value appropriately.


Always believe with 100% certainty that you can do anything that you want. Society is setup the way it is because humans made decisions. Decisions drive everything and you can choose whether or not to implement any rules and how tightly these rules will be followed. This being said.. Stay within reason; become knowledgable of the laws surrounding what it is you do. Know the exact tax situation in which your business falls into. If you don't your business will not succeed.


Focusing on providing value to the customer or client as an end goal is one of the most important traits of having Big Business Energy. The mindset of the business correlates directly with the quality of clients/customers that you will get. Provide healthy energy by focusing on value. Your clients will treat the company with dignity and respect if value is the end goal, fueling success. The majority of failed business's end up failing because they focus more on the product than the customer experience. Focus on the customer experience and how it can always be improved. Don't be afraid to give out surveys or ask for feedback. This will help your company immensely.



One of the most surprising factors that I was not expecting to greatly affect my own business personally was attention to detail. Over time I discovered the more detail orientated I was and the more we focused on improving the smaller aspects of things the cleaner we became as a company. For example: waiting an extra hour to reply to a client may cause them to become less trusting in your company loosing them as a reoccurring client. The smallest things can make the biggest differences. Believe in the butterfly effect: that is, any small action can spiral into a huge reaction. Go the extra mile to make sure you have a nicely polished product to give to your customer. Without attention to detail, things will start slipping through the cracks. Come up with a system to both measure the efficiency of each individual employee and also the average efficiency as a company as a whole. Make it a goal to raise your efficiency each month. This will boost your business exponentially.


Have a positive business culture. Do fun things internally (and often externally) and have the team collaborate in ways outside of just work to get to know each other better. This will help get work done more smoothly and collaboration and comfortability will happen naturally. I strongly suggest having consistent team meetings and activities. When it comes to these you will want to focus on short but frequent meetings as opposed to infrequent large meetings.


These traits will provide your business with energy you never thought possible. Whatever endeavor you embark on just know that it will take an extreme amount of time, dedication, and patients. You will know you're on the right path if not only you are improving your craft, but your craft is in term improving you.

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