Another quarter. Oh dear… brace yourself. Have you ever experienced the roller coaster ride of business? That horrible cycle where things get big you think you just about cracked it and then it gets too complicated and you shrink back down again. So many businesses have and I was talking to somebody who was talking to me about their experience of the rollercoaster ride.
They’d basically kind of given up. “I’m gonna keep it small and I’m gonna keep it manageable”. I got talking to him about why so many businesses get stuck in this trap. Only four percent of businesses ever surpass a million in turnover. Why is that? Well, there are three main reasons and this is a concept that Verne Harnish talks about in his book “Scaling Up”.
So the first thing that he talks about is leadership. If you do not have the right leadership in your company you will get stuck. Your ability to grow a management team that have the capability to make decisions to predict, to delegate effectively is absolutely critical. If you grow your business and you don’t grow your management structure properly alongside that, then you are going to be stuck with a lot of doing responsibility and a lot of managing responsibility.
Next, is market dynamics. This is about your ability as a company to be able to compete effectively in your marketplace. When you’re a smaller company you don’t need to have the best marketing in the world you don’t need to have a really strong value proposition. There are a few things that you can kind of get away with not doing properly but as your business gets bigger managing these complexities becomes really important.
So your ability to have a proper sales and marketing machine that is able to attract enough of your core customers your ability to be able to protect your margins and to have a really strong value proposition all of these things are incredibly important.
Sometimes what happens is businesses grow they incur these step costs but their marketing and sales isn’t able to keep up and deliver enough turnover to be able to pay for all of those step costs.
And finally, it’s all about scalable infrastructure. If a business grows and adds loads more people you’ve got all of this volume and if there aren’t processes that help people do things consistently and efficiently, then what happens is well, people do things their own way.
“What the hell?” and that’s frustrating for customers and it is inefficient internally. And that’s where I see a lot of businesses struggling with errors and people getting caught in avoidable mistakes. If you’re going to grow your business you must have proper processes and systems in place to guide people on doing the right thing in the right way. And you also need to have scalable communication infrastructure.
That is all about having the right meetings in place so that everybody in your company has a proper understanding of what’s going on. It is really important, that as your business grows you’ve got the right processes in place and you’ve got proper communication channels in place so that people can get things done and address issues in a timely fashion.
So there we go if you want to avoid the roller coaster. Yeah you need to identify what you need to do in each of these three areas. Now if you want to do a little audit and find out how you’re doing in each of these three areas then please look at the link below in the comments and that will take you to a free assessment so that you can score yourself and your business.
See you next time on mind your own business
If you’re looking for more small business tips, then we’d like to see you every week on “Mind Your Own Business,”
Marco Soares is an award-winning business coach in Sussex and is available if you’d like help implementing these tactics.