From Start Up To Scale Up And Beyond

Issue 28

It started with an idea, some skills undoubtedly, determination and a great ability to make things happen by doing it all. Sales and profits grew exponentially and life was great!

Then the game changed. The skills of the lone wolf didn’t fit what had become a team game. You moved from ‘start up’ to ‘scale up’ and the rules of engagement were different. The exact skills that created your success are now the ones that are holding you back. ‘On vs in’ the business In my experience of working with SMEs one of the greatest challenges is that business owners are time and resource poor and spend most of their time meeting the current needs of the business. They thrive on doing and making things happen. Planning is something that’s done only when they can find the time. Create a plan Force yourself to take a step back and start to think about the end goal. Hop off the treadmill and pause for reflection. Where are you now, where do you want to be and how are you going to get there?

Using simple planning tools and diagnosis you can create a roadmap that will support the next stages of your growth journey. In our fast changing world you need to be agile and ruthless in your prioritisation. Focus on what will have the greatest impact now whilst moving you closer to your ultimate goal. A plan will allow you to spend more time on the ‘important’ stuff and lessen the ‘urgent!’ Engage your team Ever felt that your team are just turning up, going through the motions? Do they know why they are turning up? What is the vision and mission? When was the last time you sat down with your senior managers to discuss the plans for the business? You might be surprised what you learn. Their ‘buy in’ and expertise is critical to the successful design and delivery of any growth plan. When you start to map out the future journey you may also need to reevaluate the people on the bus!

What gets measured gets done Plans need to live in the business. The strategic goals of the business need to be embedded in the day to day processes and personal objectives. All businesses have critical success factors. Do you know yours? How are you measuring progress? Are you focused on ‘nice to dos’ or things that will make a real difference to the bottom line or to your customer experience? Do I need support? Have you got the skills to get the most out of your team and manage the doing? What are your true strengths and what are your development needs? Having made a commitment to spend some time on strategy where do you go for support? Getting an external view can be invaluable.

Using simple planning tools and diagnosis you can create a roadmap that will support the next stages of your growth journey.

Andrew Silver, 360 Growth Partner

We all develop blind spots and need to be challenged. There are plenty of advisers, consultants and networks but with limited time sometimes the best option is to find a business growth partner to help guide you through the myriad of options and ensure the solution is tailored to fit. Management theory is great but application and delivery is what makes the difference. Mentoring is growing in popularity someone who has been on a similar journey, understands your challenges, an impartial view, a confidant who you can trust. The North East LEP ( run a mentoring programme where you can work with a mentor and the only cost is your time. Successful growth means a change in mindset, adopting different ways of working, a more robust plan but more than anything else it means identifying where you can add the most value and letting others do the rest!

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