Growth presents a real challenge for many small businesses. As your organization grows, how do you avoid compromising the personality and characteristics that helped build your business in the first place? Act Small, Think Big. In his manifesto for small business in the new economy (Small is the New Big), Seth Godin has redefined the meaning of small and big: 1. "Small" is a mindset, a way of acting, as opposed to a physical state - Small is not the the size of your bank account, your asset base or the number of employees you have, etc. 2. Thinking "Big" is thinking smart. Big ideas don't have to equate to big budgets and expenses - Big ideas are new ideas. The secret to managing the growth of your small business lies in understanding/balancing thinking big and acting small. Here are some ideas to get you started: Acting Small. * Reach out and stay engaged with your customers (on a regular basis). * Live your service promise. * Answer the phone (with a live person not an auto-attendant). * Respond to website inquiries as fast as possible. * Return emails. * Listen. * Stay flexible. * Make decisions (the quicker the better). * Avoid unnecessary meetings. * Communicate openly and honestly. * If you don't know the answer, don't fake it. * Ask for feedback - Survey your clients. * Use common sense (particularly when spending). Thinking Big. * Focus on what your good at and farm out the rest. * Become your own publisher - share your ideas through a blog, e-book or whitepaper. * Give away content hat helps solve problems (for free). * Embrace technology - use tools and applications to work smarter. * Learn how to use social media. * Always be trying something new - change is a stimulant. * Understand your clients and be the best at solving their problems.