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Phase 1: Build a solid foundation for growing your business
Phase 2: Identify the key leverage points for driving growth
Phase 3: Overcome the most predictable obstacles to growth
Phase 4: Learn how to leverage and manage your time better
Table of Contents
To scale your company and reduce its reliance on your input and efforts, you first have to build a solid foundation. The best way to do that is to understand the context of your company – the market you serve, who you compete against and where you want to be positioned in the marketplace. Understand this and you get clues on how to grow.
Principle 1 Build a business, not a job
Most people assume to grow their business, they have to work harder. That's incorrect. If you go down that path, you have put a limit on how big your business can grow. Instead, you should be focusing on building a business which can operate well whether you're on the job or not. Be more concerned with building a business rather than creating a great job for yourself.
All successful companies go through three predictable stages of development:
■When you're in Level 1, you're busy designing your start-up and planning what to do. You put together your start-up team, write a business plan and raise the start-up capital required. Your focus here is to get immediate market feedback on what you plan to sell so you know if your idea is viable.
■A Level 2 business is an early-stage enterprise. As a start-up, you make and sell your product or service and figure out how to motivate people to buy. In the mid-stages of Level 2, your company is making money as long as you turn up every day and make things happen. In the later stages of Level 2, you start developing systems so other people get involved in running and growing the business.
■By the time you reach Level 3, you're looking to scale your enterprise up in earnest. By this time, you have a management team in place who know how to take the business forward to the next level. As you work through this level, you can decide on and then execute your ideal exit strategy.
As far as exit strategies go, there are at least three directions you can head when you exit:
1You can sell up – and head off onto your next big adventure with the funds you have.
2You can keep scaling the business – and become a major player in your industry. This will involve you having an intensive hands-on role in the future growth of your enterprise.
3You can passively own the business – and work part-time (say five hours a week) with little or no direct operational responsibilities.
All of these exit strategies are feasible. You just have to decide for yourself which one you're going after.
"The world doesn't pay you for the hours you put in; it pays you for the value you create. This is why the first principle of scaling your company is to understand that the less you do, and the more you get your business to do, the faster your business will grow." — Jeff Hoffman and David Finkel
Principles 2 Build your systems, team ＆ controls