We all know the scary statistics about the volume of business failures within the first few years of starting up. There’s an unfortunately large graveyard of shooting stars that come down to earth with a sudden crash – companies that, for whatever, reason had cashflow problems, staff issues, challenges retaining customers or they just couldn’t get to profitability for different reasons. They burned up capital and their dreams went up in smoke too.
So, what is the difference between those companies that get to the next level and are able to grow sustainably, and those that cannot?
I’ve recently been helping entrepreneur founders who face the challenge of how to grow sustainably and get their businesses to the next level. As businesses move from the start-up phase to the point where they are hiring a bunch of people, including senior managers to run functions within their company, the business needs to be managed differently.
How then to manage the transition from a smaller founder-led business to one that can scale-up?
Obviously, the founder cannot be involved in all decisions as the business grows, but they still need to find a way to manage the business effectively. They will need to hire and delegate some areas to professional management and they will need to put in some ‘bigger company’ processes without losing what it is that has made the business successful. These decisions can present numerous challenges for founders.
For example, you will need to first answer whether you have a business and model that can scale (and this is a big topic on its own that I won’t attempt to address here). But, assuming you are positive on the potential, some of the key areas that need to be looked at and questions answered include:
Organisational Structure and Talent
Planning and Priorities
Systems and Processes
Self-Management and Development
Sales and Marketing
Embrace Ongoing Change
There are many opportunities to pursue and directions to take, so where to start?
I hope some of these thoughts provoke your thinking when the time comes to grow your business. I’ve given you some nuggets from my years in leadership. Now, it’s over to you to take action.
Are you ready to scale?