While mentoring entrepreneurs and small business owners, I am often asked for advice on how to effectively scale up business sales growth.
What I share with clients is that significantly boosting sales is more about having the proper mindset rather than doing more of the same. A lot of the business owner’s day-to-day functions and activities must change, or adapt, to truly allow rapid growth.
Owners often get stuck spending time working in the business instead of working on the business. In these instances, entrepreneurs don’t set aside time to plan the best ways to scale the business simply because they get caught up in the urgency of every day demands. To appreciably grow their operations, business owners must be able to step outside of the immediacy of running the business, analyze their business functions and then understand what is needed to accomplish their goals. Failing to do that is akin to the mentality of “if I just pedal the bike faster, I’ll catch up to the Maserati.” Wishful thinking perhaps, but not reality.
Instead of undertaking all the duties alone, business owners must relinquish some key responsibilities to others. This is where hiring and training the right employees are key. When running a business, it’s sometimes second nature to believe that no one can do it better than us. It’s important to trust that staff is carrying out tasks at levels matching the customer or client’s expectations. Could the owner do the job better? Maybe, but sometimes entrepreneurs must be willing to accept a very good performance vs. their idea of “perfect.”
In addition to accepting less than perfection at times, it’s also critical to do research to determine how exponential growth would work in your venture. I suggest finding a model that makes the most sense for your business to consider emulating. The business model having 10 employees as compared to one will be significantly different.
What happens when you’re not sure about the best business model to follow? Consider talking to someone who’s traveled down this road before. Finding a mentor in your specific industry could be hugely beneficial. Seek out someone who does not perceive you as a competitor. Even a brief time talking to someone who can share pitfalls and success stories periodically is invaluable input.
In terms of value, knowing what is and what is not worth our time is imperative. That means saying “no” when needed. You may be surprised by how much time entrepreneurs spend on tasks that could be done by an employee, possibly curtailed or even dropped entirely. This notion of saying “no” might preclude taking on a project or client that is not profitable. Sure, this work will expand your revenue, but if your bottom line is not improving you are just spinning your wheels.
Implementing the proper systems is essential to accelerating business growth. Finding and using the best system tools and productivity applications may cost the business time and money at the outset. However, having the proper systems in place ensures top-of-the-line business functioning and will eventually lead to a return on investment. The systems today might prove inadequate as the business experiences rapid growth.
It is also critical that a business’s processes be simplified and standardized. If a company increases its employees from 1 to 10, all need to be working under the same easy-to-understand guidelines.
Additionally, these adjustments require a commitment of resources – critically your time, but very likely an investment of dollars.
Shifting one’s mindset to rapidly grow a business venture can be difficult, especially for solopreneurs. But, with a well-thought-out plan and proper systems and processes in place, accelerated business growth can change from a dream to reality.
For more guidance on accelerating the growth of your business, contact SCORE Bucks County at 215-943-8850 or visit https://buckscounty.score.org/.