Welcome to our second blog in our 6 part mini series where we look at the challenges and critical milestones facing ambitious entrepreneurs at each phase of their entrepreneurial journey. Following our last blog we look deeper still today at the importance of developing the necessary growth framework to scale and/or accelerate the growth of a business.
Experience has taught us that successful entrepreneurs across the globe recognise that in order to unlock their business’ true potential there are 7 key factors (as outlined in Mckinsey’s 7S Framework) that have to be in place. More importantly, all 7 factors need to work in conjunction with one another in order to create a high performance organisation that is able to scale.
The 7 factors are as follows;
Successful organisations need to compete in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments. So, the strategy needs to respond to this with agility. Organisations must constantly adapt strategies to succeed.
Successful organisations adopt an organisational structure that allows them to scale whilst retaining strong levels of control exercised through delegated responsibility. The structure, in turn, helps people understand who is accountable and responsible for specific tasks and results.
Successful organisations equally create robust processes and procedures that people top ensure the quality and consistency of activities across the organisation. They also invest in software systems to automate activities, processes and procedures to bring about greater operational efficiencies.
Successful organisations are also built around great people who possess the necessary skills to deliver the organisation’s growth strategy. Having the right skills to deliver the strategy is vital and skills gaps can pose a risk to achieving cost competitiveness objectives.
Also referred to as culture, this represents the way things are done and, particularly, the way the leadership team conducts itself in the organisation. The business owner’s leadership’s style will greatly influence how the rest of the employees behave. Therefore, if the leadership visibly embraces, champions and demonstrates the right behaviours, then people around the organisation will typically follow
The extent to which any organisation scales is invariably linked to its talent pool. It is vital that the organisation possesses the right talent in each area to optimise organisational capability and capacity.
Finally, it’s crucial that in any scale-up organisation the right values exist. Fundamentally these values should encapsulate the organisation’s purpose or its societal mandate. The organisation’s purpose tends to remain a fundamental constant over time and this purpose shapes the organisation’s values.
Many of today’s most successful business owners state that the smartest & most valuable decision that they ever took on their route to success was to hire an award-winning business coach or mentor with a proven track record of success.
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For ambitious entrepreneurs that are looking to really scale their businesses the benefits of working with an award-winning business coach/mentor with a proven track record of success are considerable.
In the UK scale-ups employ over 3 million people and have a combined turnover in excess of £1.3 trillion. According to the ScaleUp Institute, scale-ups are the engine drivers of local economies. They are twice as innovative as large firms, employ twice as many apprentices, and are on average 42% more productive than their peers.
Firstly – by working together you’ll develop the CLARITY, FOCUS & most importantly of all a detailed PLAN of ACTION to ensure that you scale your business to the levels that you have always strived for.
Consequently, your business can expect to see;
1. Significant Revenue & Margin Growth
As a scale-up you should expect to benefit from significant growth (20%+) in revenue, margin and most importantly of all asset value.
Scale-ups regularly see software like margins of 70% (gross) and 20% (net).
2. Cashflow/ Working Capital Improvements
With substantial margin improvements, you should also expect to benefit from substantial improvements in cashflow/working capital which will, in turn, allow you to accelerate growth rates further still, be it organically or via acquisition, hire better people, or simply take greater rewards for yourself.
3. Higher Valuations
Better still scale-ups typically benefit from significantly higher valuations as they focus on building asset value by investing in longer-term growth initiatives ultimately with an exit strategy in mind.
Equally, as a scale-up entrepreneur, you can personally expect to benefit from;
Becoming an entrepreneur means you can reap the benefits of all your hard work. The only real cap to the amount of money you can earn is your own level of ambition.
As an entrepreneur, you get to create your own destiny as well as have control over it. You control your day. You control what you do.
Successful entrepreneurs are able to make all of the decisions relating to their company themselves; they have complete control. This allows for a huge degree of independence and a chance to shape one’s own life.
Having built a successful, growing business entrepreneurs benefit significantly from more time with friends, family and spending time doing the activities that they enjoy most.
Finally – Entrepreneurship can offer levels of fulfilment and achievement that are hard matched by any other type of employment. As an entrepreneur you accept the challenges, work hard to overcome them and when you achieve the desired results, you’re able to savour the moment. The feelings of satisfaction and achievement are simply unsurpassed.
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As businesses grow, they invariably face some very specific challenges. Understanding how best to address them, in what order, whilst also identifying the opportunities associated with these challenges is a critical part of unlocking your business’ true potential.
Building A Plan To Succeed
For every business, whether large or small, being able to plan effectively is crucial for growth and survival in today’s highly competitive markets. There’s no doubt that without great strategic business planning, you’re likely to miss out on opportunities, stunt your growth and ultimately limit your success.
As the old saying goes…. “Fail to plan ….. plan to fail” .
By working with an experienced coach you’ll learn how to create and develop detailed plans for your business to ensure you realise your growth ambitions.
You’ll learn that behind every successful, growing business are 3 different but equally important plans, namely;
- A Business Plan that sign-posts exactly where you are heading
- A Budget that details what the financial roadmap for your business looks like
- A Targeted Marketing Plan that details how your growth ambitions will be realised
From a business plan perspective, your coach will help you build a winning plan to scale your business by introducing you to proven planning tools such as our 5-3-1 Vision Orbit. The tool will enable you to develop real clarity about your long term vision for your business. Once you’ve done this you’ll create more detailed annual plans which in turn will be broken down into even more focused 90 Day Plans to ensure that each and every quarter you maintain the focus on your priorities, build the momentum and ensure you not only reach but exceed your growth targets.
Together you’ll create really specific, measurable goals alongside a clear plan of action as to how your growth targets and other goals will be met within the agreed timescales.
Alongside any great business plan, there’s also a great financial plan that maps out your business’ journey from a financial perspective. Having established your financial goals you’ll work together to build an annual, if not a 2-3 year, Budget against which you can measure your progress both from revenue and overheads perspective so as to ensure that your business hits its profit targets month on month, year after year.
As part of this, your coach will help you understand the importance of managing your cashflow and having a dashboard that gives you the right level of financial control over your business.
Finally – you’ll work with your coach to build a Targeted Marketing Plan that delivers the levels of growth that you and your business requires and more importantly still delivers desired levels of gross and net profit by positioning you as the go to business/service.
The old John Wanamker quote that “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half” is still every bit as true today, primarily because the majority of businesses (a) fail to plan their marketing efforts properly and (b) measure the success of their marketing campaigns.
Your coach will teach you the 6 critical steps to building a winning marketing plan, namely;
As a first step, you’ll develop real clarity around your target market/s by getting really specific about exactly WHO you are targeting not just from a sector perspective but literally down to the specific companies, specific job roles and wherever possible specific personnel within those organisations. Secondly, you’ll define exactly WHERE your targeted customers are geographically. Whether they’re local, regional, national or international it’s important to be specific and prioritise. Thirdly it’s crucially important to be specific about WHAT products and services you are intending to offer and/or promote to specific customers/prospects in order to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Once you’ve done all of the above (and NOT before!) it’s crucial to develop clarity around WHY those specific customers would choose to buy from you and not your competition. In order to overcome the all too common objections, it’s important to develop a strong and compelling unique selling proposition (USP) to ensure that you create a real point of differentiation and competitive advantage over the competition.
Having invested the necessary time in Steps 1-4 the decision about HOW you market your business is relatively easy. Having undertaken Steps 1-4 it’s typically very simple to identify where your target customers are hanging–out and hence what the best marketing channels to use are. Irrespective of whether you’re in a B2C, B2B or B2B2C market situation the same planning principles apply. WHEN you run your chosen marketing campaigns is the final step and relatively easy to determine.
Whilst all of the above might seem like a mountain to climb by working with an experienced coach who has helped 1000’s of other businesses develop their winning plans there really isn’t anything to fear.
Together you’ll develop the discipline to focus your time on tasks that add the most value and consequently allow you to break-through financial barriers and maintain consistent levels of growth in both turnover and net profit.
Together you’ll not only create but also deliver your winning plan with a BANG!
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We’re truly passionate about supporting business owners like you overcome your challenges and unlock the true potential of your business. If you’re looking to drive your business forward, get in touch today!
We hope that you found this second part of six in the current mini series useful and informative. DON’T MISS our next blog where we begin to explore the importance of entrepreneurs building the requisite knowledge and designing an organisational infrastructure to unlock their business’ true potential.