When you're small and working on a shoestring, as Carol Skonberg was in 2000 when she launched her wineglass jewelry business, she wasn't thinking "big." She didn't think about sales beyond her home state of Texas, or even consider that her idea would easily be duplicated or ripped off by larger rivals, which eventually put her out of business.

On the other hand, a similar business, That Wine is Mine launched in 1999 became a big success, and its owners eventually sold to a larger company in 2002. The difference between the two businesses was that the owners of That Wine is Mine set up a national sales network, consulted a lawyer about trademark protection of the company's name and logo, and even hired assemblers to keep up with demand, while Skonberg depended on the perceived "uniqueness" of the concept and first-to-market advantage to sustain her business.

The moral: If you want to succeed, you need to think like a big business. Get to market fast, have a great sales strategy, and have a strategy for protecting your brand.