Do You Have a Growth Hat?
Incremental growth is boring. The giants of business never focused on 5% growth a year. Guys like Andrew Carnegie were growth magnets. What if you could set up your business for 2x or even 10x growth? That's one of the main messages that I took away from my time as an attendee of the Inbound 2014 conference in Boston this September.
I've worked with hundreds of business owners across the country and there's one thing that successful entrepreneurs do well to create growth.
I'm calling it the 2x hat. Here it is in all of it's glory.
Profitable Businesses Have a Growth Expert
Step back for a moment and consider all of the hats you wear as a business owner. My guess is that you have your excited little fingers in just about every bucket of the business. In order to grow rapidly and successfully, you need to delegate all of your hats except for one - The Growth Hat. That's right, your new job title as the business owner is "Captain of Growth."
Let's look at what this means for you.
Step 1: Commit to Business Growth
Before we get started, I want to talk about the importance of commitment to this goal. You really have to take this seriously. If you don't, you'll revert back to wearing the wrong hats. It's human nature to take pride in your work and want to get your hands dirty. Trust me, I know. As an accountant, I can't tell you how many times I've found myself wanting to get in on an accounting project and help a client out. But I can't. That's what the Ignite Spot staff are there for. No, I've made a commitment that my role at Ignite Spot will be one of growth. Period. I've had to turn away some projects because of this decision, but I'm committed to growing this company and changing the way my industry works. I can't afford to take off my growth hat for a month while I get lost in some accounting records.
The truth is that profitable businesses don't rely on the business owners to get the production work done.
Step 2: List Out Your Hats & Delegate
Now that you're committed, list out all of your hats. What areas of your business are you trying to run? Production, finance, sales? I've found that most business owners like to be a part of every detail of the operation. As valiant as this is, it's also one of the biggest business killers out there.
Once you've listed all the hats you wear in your company, start creating a plan to delegate them to your staff. If you're a one man operation, that's fine. Start creating a hiring plan.
You cannot grow your business successfully until you've mastered the art of replacing yourself and recruiting great talent.
Step 3: Determine what 2x Growth Looks Like
Once you have a delegation plan in place, take a day off from work and disconnect from the world. Why? Because you're about to have a meeting with yourself that will forever change the course of your business. On your day off, take a notepad and pen to a place where you can think without the distraction of your mistress, the cell phone. Those things are productivity killers.
At the top of the paper, write down how much you bill on average each month. Is it $10,000 or is it $1 million? Whatever the size of your company, it doesn't matter. Now double that revenue figure and write that number down. Great. Here's the fun part: What do you need to have in place within your business to support the 2x revenue figure?
For example, what if you were going from $10,000 a month to $20,000 a month? What systems would have to be in place to support that level of business?
Growth Questions to Answer
- Staffing: How many people will you need on your team and what positions will they hold?
- Technology: Do you need to have a better software platform or computer system in place?
- Processes: What systems need to be firing on all cylinders?
- Training: What training program do you need to build so that your staff can replace you?
- Marketing: How will your marketing platform operate?
- Sales: How will you convert new leads into customers?
- Office space: How much space will you need for your staff?
- Product delivery: How will your customer experience the product?
- Partnerships: Who do you need to have in partnership to support your level of business?
- Finance & Accounting: Who will manage the finances and how will it work?
Under each one of these areas, list everything you think you will need in order to support 2x growth.
Step 4: Get Started in Your New Position
Now that you have committed to becoming the growth expert in your business, get started. Make the decision today that you'll focus 100% of your energy on completing the list you created in step 3. Be relentless in your quest to check off everything on the list.
Stop spinning your wheels doing your staff's job, and start running towards 2x or even 10x growth!
What If You Really Did This?
I have one final thought, and that is "What if?"
What if you really do this exercise? Most blog posts are read, taken for face-value and then forgotten. But what if?
Imagine that you take the road less traveled and you actually apply this advice.