“Detail-oriented” is one of those ready-made phrases that looks good on any resume, but how many of us truly conduct our business lives that way? As an entrepreneur, it’s an easy stance to take that the little things are for little people: you’re a big-picture kind of person, right? 

Looking at the big picture, of course, is necessary to build a company. The importance of vision can’t be understated. However, looking too far ahead to the detriment of less-than-grand concerns can end up costing you significantly. We exist in the here and now, and that’s where business gets done. If you’re not looking after the details, you’re missing out on what’s truly driving your business. 

Squash small problems before they grow

For one, most glaring problems in a business don’t always start out that way. Managing the details allows you to anticipate and head off any problem before it becomes a major headache. There will always be issues and obstacles to face as you grow your business. You should be jumping on every chance you get to solve them before they get too big.

Your perspective as the person in charge should be informed by what you see, and the more you see, the better you can lead.

Minor mistakes can stick out majorly

Even with that fact in mind, don’t forget that your personal perspective isn’t always shared by everyone else. When you’re running things from the top, small errors can seem extra-tiny from your vantage point. After all, when you’ve got payroll, sales leads, and marketing to balance, what significance is a typo in an email, or an order that’s a day late? 

They may not seem large to you, but for your customers, potential customers, and peers, those little mistakes have a habit of sticking out like a sore thumb. With messaging so crucially important for a young business, even the smallest mistake will be noticed by somebody. The perception of others is something that’s incredibly important, partially because we can’t control it. What we can do, however, is manage it. That takes conscientious care and attention.

Your effort level is up to you

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is the importance of effort. The reason for that is simple: there are a thousand different variables that you can’t control, each with some degree of influence over your success. One thing, however, that you always have command of is how much effort you put in. 

It’s a fundamental fact of the business world that you need to outperform the competition in order to survive. When you’re not taking care of every detail, you’re asking the next, hungrier entrepreneur to take your position over for you. 

Taking care of every detail is the purest manifestation of effort in business. The other guy might have more funding than you, but running the tightest ship possible is how you position yourself to win, no matter how big you are. Minding the little things is, no exaggeration, the most immediate way that any entrepreneur can take control of their business’ fate.

No entrepreneur is too important to manage, or at least thoughtfully delegate, the manners of various size that make up their business, even the tiny ones. Showing your industry that you’re a force to be reckoned with means catching the things that others miss, and you’ll never do that unless you’re mindful of all that’s happening underneath and around you. Those small details, ultimately, add up to something big. 

You show your employees, your clients, your partners, and your investors that you care when you take the time to ensure the details are all taken care of. Because in the end, if you don’t care, why should anyone else?

About the Author(s)

 David  Kleinhandler

David Kleinhandler is a New York-based investor and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience founding and funding financial startups. His recent work has centered around mentoring business-minded people—whether they’re recent grads starting out or veterans looking for a leg up—and giving them the tools and motivation they need to achieve their...

Founder and President, Vest Financial Group
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