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5 Ways to Grow Your Business to the Next Level

As a 3rd-4th grade basketball coach, I recently taught the boys a basic play called the Give & Go. The point is for the player with the ball (player 1) to give the ball to a teammate (player 2). Once player 2 has the ball, he will pass the ball back to player 1 who is running toward the basket to shoot a layup.  So, what does this play have to do with business?  It is a basic play of using teamwork to accomplish more than can be accomplished alone. You have to give up the ball sometimes to score.

What are your goals and dreams for your business? Do you worry about everything and feel frazzled?  Do you wish for the days when your business was smaller and you could get your hands wrapped around everything?  Do you feel stuck but don’t know how to grow to the next level?  Deep down you want to grow, but you just don’t know how. You know you need to let go, but you don’t trust because you have been disappointed before.

You have great plans for your business, your family, your future.  Follow these 5 steps, and growth will happen.

1. Inspect Your Business Today

Just as a driver cannot arrive at her final destination without being aware of her starting point, you also need to know where you are right now to figure out how to get to your destination.

From a financial perspective, you need to have a good understanding of your revenue, expenses, profit, Balance Sheet, and cash flows. Make sure your financials are in good shape. Hire someone to clean up your financials and keep them that way each month. Many small businesses work to get the financials organized for their tax return. This can be 4 to 8 months after the end of the year. Waiting this long will hinder your ability to make flexible and knowledgeable decisions in this ever changing world.

Do a SWOT analysis.  You need to fully assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  Understand why you are strong in some areas and weak in others.  Is there a new competitor? Is there an untapped market?

2. Determine Your 1, 3, and 5 year goals

Every business should visualize where they want to be in 1, 3, and 5 years. You should have goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound). I wrote about the importance of measuring goals in my article “Keeping Score – Why KPIs”.

Let say you have a goal to grow revenue by 30% in 2016.  The first step is to understand the current existing revenue. Also, assume some business could be lost during the year. Determine the new business needed each month based on hitting the 30% growth target.  Break down your goal into small chunks. One of the best examples of this is the Freedom Journal at www.eofire.com. The journal helps you hit your top goal in 100 days by breaking down the goal into 10 sprints consisting of 10 days. Here is a quick synopsis of a day:

Morning

  • What am I grateful for?
  • Goal at end of 100 days
  • #1 focus for the day
  • Actions that will get me closer to the goal?
  • What will be completed by the end of the day?
  • Action plan for the day
  • Thoughts and ideas

Evening

  • 2 wonderful things that happened today
  • 2 things I struggle with
  • Possible solution for struggles
  • Why will tomorrow be a great day?
  • Other thoughts and ideas
  • Final thought of the day

This process of breaking down goals from 5 years to 3 years to 1 year to 100 days to 10 days to 1 day is very powerful.

“The Fastest Way to Success is to Replace Bad Habits with Good Habits.” – Tom Ziglar.

3. Build a team

Your first thought might be that this sounds expensive. You probably cannot afford a CFO (Chief Financial Officer), CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), COO (Chief Operating Officer), an IT (Information Technology) Director, HR (Human Resource) Director, and a VP of Business Development.  I would imagine putting a team like this in place could cost over $1 million in operating expense.

The good news is that you can hire a fractional CFO and HR consultant, outsource the IT, and hire a marketing agency to significantly cut down your expenses. You will have the professional team you need at a much lower cost.  Don’t let costs keep you from having experts in the areas needed to hit your 5-year goal.

4. Over communicate

As a company grows, communication gets more challenging, so a process needs to be put in place. What are some good ways to communicate with your team? In the book “The Advantage”, Patrick Lencioni states that organizations must have the following 4 disciplines:

  • Build a cohesive leadership
  • Create clarity
  • Over communicate clarity
  • Reinforce clarity

I’m sure you noticed that he put clarity in there more than once.  This proves how important it is to communicate the goals to your team and to make sure everyone knows what they need to do to be successful and meet those goals.

5. Empower

In John Maxwell’s book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, he writes about the Law of Empowerment.  What is empowerment?  Empowerment is giving authority and responsibilities to employees so they can grow, be held accountable, and take ownership.  Maxwell states that when secure leaders give power to others, an organization becomes powerful. Great leaders empower others to reach their full potential.

You are probably saying “I can do it faster” or “I can’t trust anyone”. The first step is to train and begin to give employees more autonomy. Be sure to inspect their work and correct if necessary, but don’t give up. Once you have empowered someone to take ownership to do their role well, you (the owner or supervisor) are then free to do other things that are valuable to moving the organization further.

I know you want to grow your business, so let’s make this a reality starting today.  Know and inspect your business so you can build goals to get you to the next level. Hire the team you need to provide the financial, marketing, IT, operations, business development, and human resource guidance required to push you further. Once you have this in place, be clear and communicate, communicate, and communicate more. Be secure in your leadership to empower others. If you can let go enough to do this, I’m willing to bet they will blow your mind with what they can accomplish for your business.

You have to give the ball away so that you can be free to run toward the basket and score.