While helping many entrepreneurs advance their business growth to the next level, I have noticed common characteristics of those who are successful. They understand that growth is change and that they need to have strategies to monitor and manage the growth to reduce risks of failure.
However, one of the greatest challenges for entrepreneurs is being able to transition from owner to leader. Moving from being in total control and performing many tasks on their own, to delegating tasks and relying on employees to drive the business growth is not always met with success.
These “owners” are no longer looking in the mirror to delegate tasks, they are looking outward to staff and associates. This is a key area where leaders delegate responsibilities to employees and empower them to drive growth.
In the words of Bill Gates: “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
Successful entrepreneurs that have transitioned to good leaders, ensure that their companies have the following fundamentals in place for next level growth:
Vision – It should reflect clarity and identity of the company’s meaning for existence to attract ideal customers and the right employees. As the company adds key employees and grows it is essential to provide synergy and agreement among key members. Growth is change and key employees need to have synergy in pulling together to next level growth.
Structure – Effective Leadership is imperative to achieve success in growth. In his book “Good to Great” Jim Collins describes an Effective Leader as one who “catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision, simulating higher performance standards”.
Developing a culture of discipline, mentoring and empowering of staff, and hiring to competencies and cultural fit requirements are important. But Collins found good to great leaders “first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats – and then they figured out where to drive it”
Marketing and Sales –Successful entrepreneurs focus on continually knowing the essential needs of their primary customers and constantly monitor and pivot their products/services to answer these needs. Marketing campaigns and sales programs strategically reflect the BENEFITS of their products/services to their clients to drive sales. As Mark Cuban profoundly stated, “no sales, no company”.
Manage Cash Flow – The saying that “cash is king” should be part of every business mantra. Successful entrepreneurs continually manage cash flow. They know that additional cash contributions are especially critical during growth periods where investments in people, inventory, technology, etc, are necessary before receiving cash from customer sales. Lack of cash can limit growth, but properly managed cash flow can facilitate growth.
Systems of automation – Entrepreneurs who have set up business to work for them and not them working for the business, have established effective systems to automate processes and monitor key performance indicators.
They can then proactively manage the business growth. Whether it is in areas of Organizational Structure, Finance, Marketing, Sales, Customer Support, and others, they have systems that allow them to work on the business and not in it.
Growing a business is an evolutionary process that requires continual learning, improvement, monitoring and management. As companies grow to higher levels of revenue and employees, the systems, processes and solutions that worked at one level most likely will need changing, adapting or replacement at the next level.
Does your company have the correct vision, structure and management strategies for next level growth? We can help you get there – faster.