In my previous post the importance of learning from others’ experiences and of creating robust systems and processes which don’t depend on any one individual – and which enable them to grow.
The next questions are equally crucial:
1) Has anyone in your team has worked in a business double your size?
We all know Henry Ford’s famous saying “If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
So, how do you break out of this vicious circle?
Once you’ve spoken to, and learnt from, those who’ve achieved your dream, it’s time to set up those processes and systems.
Talk to your people who have worked in a business twice your size. Nominate those who know what the next level requires as ‘change champions’. They will be key to helping you deal with resistance to change.
A refreshment services company I work with has grown sales and profits in an industry ravaged by the recession by taking on a new sales director from a larger company.
Within weeks he introduced his new company to bigger potential customers and challenged R&D to come up with new products and services to capitalise on the new opportunities. The catalytic impact of this role has been significant internally and externally and changed the owner’s perception of what is possible.
2. Do you have the financial information to realise your dream?
What do you do when the banks won’t lend you money? That’s when having a good finance person on board pays big dividends and this is what you need from them:
- Cash flow projections
- Details of the capacity of the business to fund growth internally
- Working capital needed to fund each £1m of growth
- The company’s capacity to throw off the cash to support growth
Without this information your expansion plans are doomed to failure.
3. Do you have the resources to achieve your dream?
- What new equipment and technology do you need?
- How are you going to pay for them?
These are critical questions you will need to ask your people – especially the ‘champions’ who have worked in bigger organisations.
As you grow the business the issues – and the answers – become more challenging and complex This is when an executive coach can add real value by sharpening your focus, honing your skills, and challenging your thinking and answers. To learn more about working with an executive coach you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow richardwhatif on Twitter and Richard Bosworth on LinkedIn.