Earlier today I was talking with a friend about startups. He commented that most entrepreneurs have a tendency to think small in the grand scheme of things. The context for this part of the conversation was scaling a sales team from 10 sales reps to 100 sales reps. Often, an entrepreneur that currently has five or 10 sales reps sees 100 sales reps as massive, and to them its thinking big. If Groupon had stopped at 100 sales reps they wouldn’t have grown nearly as fast.
Today, Groupon hires 100s of sales reps per month and has several thousand sales reps on staff — all hired in the past couple years. Think about it for a second — Groupon believed that the market opportunity was large enough, and growing fast enough, to support a literal army of sales reps. Alibaba, based in China, has one of the largest direct sales force in the world with tens of thousands of sales reps — that’s thinking big.
The next time you’re dreaming big, ask yourself if’s truly big, and take it out to a magnitude (10x) larger and see how that feels. Are you thinking big or thinking small?
What else? What are your thoughts on thinking big or thinking small?