I get asked a lot of questions throughout the course of my day, and one of the biggest is this: how do you successfully scale a business? You’re putting in 14-hour days, all your attention is going to your business and still you aren’t seeing the growth you want. I’ve been there, and I know how frustrating it can be to watch your business fail to reach its potential. The answer, I’ve found through extensive experience, is scaling your business with purpose.
What do I mean by that? Think about it this way: growing a business is like swimming against a current. If you’re alone, there’s no way you can overcome the current to get where you need to go. You need great swimmers alongside you; you need equipment so you don’t exhaust yourself or your people; you need to understand how far you’ve gone; you need a clear direction to make sure you know where the finish line is. That is what I mean by scaling with purpose.
When you put these six things in place, your business will grow!
Everything in your business starts with you, the owner. You are the only one who can set the values and mission of your company. You are the one who has to decide what you want your business to look and feel like. Your mindset is the foundation of your business, and it will inform absolutely everything that comes after.
Your team is going to look to you for guidance and approval. They want to understand what’s important to you and to the company. Having a proper mindset is essential to establish the company’s values that will drive and inform everyone’s performance. Once you have your proper mindset and values in place, you can measure everything your company does mindfully.
Getting the right people on your team in the right roles can be the difference between success and failure. They have to help you beat the current. Maybe one went to swimming college and majored in freestyle, but they aren’t motivated to perform at their best. Another has never dipped a toe in the water, but they are a natural once you teach them.
A lot of business leaders think that getting the perfect person on paper is the end of the hiring process. What they don’t realize, however, is that sometimes it’s better for you in the long term to hire someone who has a great attitude and enthusiasm for the role. Keep in mind what can be taught and what can’t. You should always be thinking about what kinds of people and personalities will complement (or totally sour) your existing team. When we grow, we grow together.
Your Real Numbers
No one can make progress unless they understand the impact of what they’ve done so far. Maybe you’re swimming as hard as you can, but you’ve gone off course and lost your way. In order to truly scale your business with purpose, you absolutely must identify your real numbers and make sure you are informed on the status of those numbers regularly, and in a way you can understand.
This is something you and your team should do together. Identify what matters most to your business. Is it new customer acquisition? Sales and marketing ROI? Where are you succeeding? What can you do to amplify or duplicate that success in other areas? Where are you failing? What do you need to adjust to turn that around? Your real numbers must be revisited and measured constantly to make sure your business stays on the path to growth.
Products and Services
This one can be the most difficult for passionate business leaders to grasp. It’s wonderful to have a lot of different offers and ideas for how to satisfy your customers. It’s fun and exciting to innovate and bring new ideas to market. The trouble comes when you’re spending so much time planning new products that they never see the light of day.
As business leaders, it’s our responsibility to make things happen. Products can’t get sold if they’re sitting in R&D forever. Keep simplicity and focus as your goal. You can always improve upon a product or service later down the line. Often, doing so can be even better for your business because you’ll have gotten some of the most valuable input out there: customer opinion.
Sales & Marketing
People in sales and people in marketing don’t always think alike. People in marketing love to create conversations and engage with consumers. Their work is both creative and analytical. They are always coming up with fresh ways to get your products in front of the customer, as well as meticulously measuring the effect of those efforts. Their work is carefully crafted, planned and executed.
Salespeople are generally more pragmatic. They are go-getters who can quickly change tactics as they read the room. They are numbers people; the more people they talk to, the more likely they are to make a sale. The truth is sales and marketing depend on each other. Even though they may have different strategies, they must align with each other so both groups can be successful. If you want to hone in on your product or service’s unique sales proposition, unite these two groups. This will inform the direction of both your sales and marketing people, and only amplify their efforts.
Processes & Systems
When I talk to people about processes and systems, one of the things I always say is, “We can walk down a dirt road as long as we have the equipment to pave behind us.” Even if you haven’t solidified how things should be done in your company, you can always start defining it now. This comes down to having the people who are doing the different and important roles in your company document how they work. Getting started is as simple as encouraging people to start writing down what they do and how they do it.
Even if these processes change over time, you’ll have a written record that can be easily adjusted or changed as you grow. I can’t stress to you how important this will be for long-term business growth. Along with refining your real numbers, you’ll also refine how things are done in your company. As new people join your team, you’ll have the blueprint you need to bring them up to speed.
These six areas are ones that I know from experience have the power to drive your business forward to 6 and 7-figure growth. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, do some thinking about these areas as they relate to your business. I bet you’ll immediately see at least one or two concentration on which you could improve. If you want more guidance concerning scaling your business with purpose, get in touch. We’d love to help.