Catapulting growth for your business
Whether you’ve founded your own company or are simply looking for ways to expand your own territory, the combinations of methods is infinite, but there are certain things every entrepreneur must do in order to get to the next level with their company.
To find out what these critical tasks our, we connected with Robert Glazer, president of the Boston Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a group comprised of 100 Boston entrepreneurs who own a company with gross annual sales exceeding $1 million, enabling business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. Glazer is also the founder and managing director of Acceleration Partners.
Now, to the six things:
Glazer notes in his own words below that there are six things every entrepreneur must do to take their business to the next level:
1. Focus on what matters. Learn to do less day-to-day business tasks so you can focus on business strategy and growth opportunities. Identify three to four priorities each quarter that will advance your business. Get them done and learn to be okay with what falls off.
Also, as a company, it’s better to be really good at a few things than average at many. Don’t chase “volume,” but focus on simplifying your product and service offerings to deliver and exceed customer expectations. Focusing on what matters requires discipline, but ensures long-term, sustainable growth.
2. Stay true to your core values. When you know who you are and what you stand for as a business, it’s much easier to identify poorly matched opportunities. Once you define your company’s core values, you must live them every day and apply them to every business decision you make including evaluating clients and hiring, training and firing staff. Surrounding your company with opportunities and people who align with your core values keep you focused on doing what’s most important to grow your company.
3. Hire slowly. You need a great team behind you to be successful. Hire thoroughly and deliberately to gain top performers for your company. Finding an ‘A Player’ who perfectly complements your team can take months, but it’s important to get it right the first time, every time, no matter how much time it takes.
Once you find that ‘A Player,’ the hiring process is not done. It’s still your responsibility to communicate your company’s visions, rules and processes to your new team member so they have a clear understanding of goals and expectations. To ensure your new employee is meeting expectations, set a 90-day trial period after which you provide feedback on his or her overall work performance.
Always keep staffing needs in mind and never stop recruiting. Utilize referrals and continuously network with people in your industry to find your next team member.
4. Define and document your company’s core processes. Well-defined systems and processes reduce confusion and friction. When your employees understand how to do things and who handles what, you’ve created an environment with fewer disruptions and higher productivity.
5. Don’t get addicted to fast growth. Getting too much new business too quickly is a problem. If you’re focused on advancing your company, you shouldn’t focus on growing for the sake of growth. Each step of the growth process requires the right infrastructure of staff, funds and resources. Growing too fast too soon can lead to unhappy, overworked employees who are no longer able to perform at their highest level because they are simply trying to ‘keep their head above the water.’ Find a process to handle your company’s growth and keep your team performing at the highest level.
6. Never stop learning. Honing your leadership skills and continuously learning new things is crucial to growing as an individual and as the leader of your company. Learning takes on many forms—read books that others suggest, take a new class or engage in peer-to-peer mentoring. Organizations and resources like the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Entrepreneurial Operating System are extremely valuable catalysts in growing your company as well.