DNA of a small business, or How to stop to be one
You can't build a big business thinking in criteria of a small one. Test your company by 12 parameters and find out what needs to be changed in order to lay down the code of a big business into DNA of your company.

“99% of companies in Ukraine are small, greedy and ridiculous” — said one of the experienced tops. At first it made me angry, then hurt, then turned on my mind… If you look at the sizes of our companies in the global economy, we can be seen only under a microscope… Sales volume of Apple with 123 thousand “residents” in 2017 amounted to 229 billion dollars. Ukraine’s GDP overall, with 33-35 million people and 1.2 million legal entities amounted to 112 billion dollars. One company creates the value two times bigger than the whole country. And yet there is some “metaphysical threshold” in the turnover amount of USD 20-30 million in Ukraine. Clever companies reach it and almost every second one crashes. What’s wrong?

I offer you to learn the reason here and now through testing the DNA of your company by 12 parameters. And to make the right step forward with recommendations to start.

Attitude towards:| DNA of a small business:  DNA of a big business:
1. The business idea Personalized, “on gut instinct”

Rather formally, than at root

“I see the money, that’s my idea”. “We want to become a leader in the region or the National operator – this is our idea”. “The Vision of the business is my personal thing, intimate. I am not going to tell anybody about it.” “I must give it to the organization. I gave birth to it, I’ll kill it. Are you unhappy with anything? Bye”.

Deep, you are seeking for the Vision all the time, setting the company as a system, involving the team.

“The company, the team needs a dream. A strong idea that will be ahead of time, the development of markets, technology, management stiffness and will tune the company as a system for growth, development and capitalization”

“But the scale, the wealth are not created just using the goals.” Facebook is building an alternative government in the world, Uber frees the world from consumerism/ inefficient use of assets. In Inkerman the Owner-visionary dreamed to create a Ukrainian wine cluster as a world premiere of a special taste … ADAMA solves the problems of productivity and lack of resources for farmers-Owners, although it looks like a simple manufacturer of plant protection products”. These companies have a real Vision, a deep sense outside the slogans.

2. Goals You can do without them…

“It doesn’t matter what to achieve, it’s more important to grow efficiently and to have a good profit”

There is clear ambitious goals

“No goals – no system, no positive tension, feedback, manageability”. “Just a financial goal will not make the company rich and stable. For the development and growth of the company you need to have a market and supersystem goals.” “If suddenly we have become the first in something, all hands on deck. Where’s the next horizon for growth and development?”

3. The consumer We = our Consumer. We are for everyone

“Our customer is a woman 35+ with a high level of income … And why do we need to understand Him/Her? Our principle: to do it the way you do it for yourself, for your children and everything will be fine”

We are our consumer. A clear understanding and focus

“We are our consumer. We clearly define the person we serve to. We are constantly looking for and finding a better understanding of such person’s life, dreams, goals, challenges and how we can implement /solve them”

4. Product Understanding of the product at the level of “physics” and not a value proposition with the market uniqueness

“The main thing is the value for money and the quality of the product. What’s not clear?”. “Value for money factor is everything”

We are constantly working on the Product, R&D is one of the main cost items

“The product is not just a product or service, the product is what task and/or problem of the consumer we are solving. What will make Him/Her successful? More successful in comparison with what the Consumer can obtain using alternative possibilities.” “The quality of the product or service is like hygiene for your business. Must Have”

5. Time “We have time …” We save time

“Time is the only irreplaceable resource. Speed, efficiency are in priority. We save time searching for more effective strategies.” The most efficient companies in the world have the efficiency: USD 2.5 million of revenue per person per year.

“The company can and must outlive us. We calculate the result, save future time”

6. Money We save money, buy OS

“The main thing is marginality and profitability of sales.” “Everything here and now, and immediately”

We invest in a living thing, correctly

“Money should not be saved, it should be invested with target efficiency, qualitative or quantitative one”

7. Employees Extremes: from complete distrust to “mortal love”

From “Who are these people? They have no responsibility” to “We love everybody with mortal love”

Like to co-workers, internal customers, partners
8. Competitors Blindness

“We have no competitors”. “We are the leaders, there are no equals around. We have overtaken McDonald’s and GE”. “Well, you said to take a look at the market, so we did it … well … why do we need it otherwise?”

We are not alone, we should constantly look through the “window” to play with forecasts

“The Consumer always has an alternative. How can we be useful on our own or together with competitors as partners for Him/Her?”

9. Suppliers “Tool”, “Squeeze out” Partners, work together to create a product
10. Ownership Dependence

“Company, car, wife are exclusively mine …”


“The ownership model is a tool like others in setting up the system for the growth, development and capitalization”

11. Uncertainty, opportunities We earn on something we can do, we minimize risks

“We go only in the direction which we understand. To the consumers, which we understand.” “The main thing: save, not lose, GET AWAY FROM …”

We pass into a new area, develop. Any changes are a value

“Where’s the next horizon for growth, development, capitalization of the company? We search, find, design a new product, check, acquire new competences, act, achieve”. “We go For something. Not From, but To …”

12. Environment I don’t trust anyone. “You can’t trust anyone”. “Don’t you know the environment we live in? What taxes?”. “Blame the government, inspection bodies …” Trust, cooperation, partnership. “Everything is interconnected. Everyone is connected with everyone. Investment in the environment is extremely beneficial. Purposefully build and cherish relationships. Of the partnership, cluster, business ecosystem”

And now … how to stop being a small business? For specific points every company, depending on the “diagnosis”, will have its own plan. But!


  1. To set clear goals for your company for more than a year. Market and financial ones (not OR, but AND). Remember about “3 parameters for the system survival”.
  2. To think openly with the team about the future of your company for the long term. Who are we and what is the aim of our work? It’s about the Vision, the Idea of your business…
  3. To dig deep: Who is He/She, our Consumer? Who are we working for? And who is Not ours? What is our product for Him/Her and what is unique?
  4. Find “3 Ands”. Three key changes that we want to have in the company to achieve the goals within 3 months. And to make them.
  5. To think, for what and with whom we can unite, to create a partnership to go to the growth, development, capitalization … sooner, with fewer resources, and having the value for all parties. To act!

The race is GOT by dreaming and doing.

Good luck!

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