My business is running me. I am ready to expand but if I do more of what I am currently doing it will kill me. How do I increase my sales, build my team, expand my space, enter new markets when I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off?
Who's on 1st?
Where do I start, it seems like my business needs everything.
We are doing a good job with everything, but we are not getting the results I want to see. Where do I start?
Two questions business owners ask when they are planning for a growth push. It can be difficult to know what needs to be done today.
It's kind of like the old comedy skit, Who's on 1st, What's on 2nd, I Don't Know is on 3rd. Except in this case, they keep changing positions when you are not looking!
Did you know that more businesses fail right after a big growth phase than any other time?
You are right to be concerned about how to manage growth in your business. Why do more businesses fail after a big growth phase? Because growth is risk. You put everything you know, everything you had into growth. Leaving you and your team exhausted. Are you prepared for the impact of that growth? Remember, NOT growing is also risky, everything around you is changing, you need to keep up. Growth is not a one-time thing. It needs to be continuous. A tree doesn’t grow one year and is so proud of what it accomplished that it stays there. Growth must be sustainable growth to be effective, growth.
Questions to be considered BEFORE expanding
Can we handle the increased product demand?
Can our team handle the growth?
Are we making enough profit on everything we do?
Is the growth in alignment with where we want this business to go?
Do we do it a little at a time or one big leap?
First Things First, When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority
There are a lot of moving parts in every business. The growth process can only go as smoothly as the most difficult component. There are 7-building blocks for business. Each needs to be evaluated and considered before any significant growth push
Planning / Finance
Leadership / Personal Growth
Imagine it like a production line with 7 different machines each producing a part of the final product. If machines 1 thru 3 can produce at 1500 pieces per hour, and machine 4 produces at 800 pieces per hour. Your bottleneck is machine 4. Until you figure out how to improve this step you cannot increase overall production
If you have a strong plan, finances are solid, marketing is crushing it but your sales conversion rate is low, you have to start with sales. Pushing more marketing or adding new products will not solve the low conversion rate for long. Improved sales processes are Who's on 1st.
These are sneaky little devils and they blink bright red if you ignore them. Once you solve the problem on machine #4, sales, the bottleneck moves.There is always a bottleneck, the sooner you can identify, or predict the next bottleneck the faster you can fix it.
What strength do you as the business leader bring to the business? Chances are this is the area you are going to have the hardest time taking an objective look at. If you have a business building widgets, because you designed the greatest widget ever, you may have trouble seeing any flaws. Get an outside view of what is really happening in your business before you start any major growth phase.
In business growth is risky, not growing is deadly
Be ready, be nimble, and get moving.