You started your business. You developed a great, differentiated product or service. You followed your ever-changing strategy and your fingers touch everything … the business is a successful extension of you. Now that you are growing, you hate that new employees don’t always get it. They don’t show the same commitment. You begin to wonder if your company isn’t set up to scale.
With growth, things will be different.
Here are six steps to successfully prepare for the time that you no longer make every decision, sign every check, talk to every customer and hire every employee.
Be clear on your mission (not your mission statement)
Clearly articulate your purpose and why you do what you do. Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why” shares that employees are not inspired by your goal of growing by 20 percent; that’s an end result. They are inspired by clear missions like, “We do this because we want everyone’s digital information to be safe.”
Focus on a great company culture
In his book, “Culture Trumps Everything,” Gustavo Grodnitzky says, “If employees within your organization are goal-oriented, team-focused and driven by performance, it is because your culture demands it.” No matter how large your company grows, you are responsible for creating the culture you want. The way you and your leadership team behave, believe and reward lets everyone know what is valued.
Be vigilant about cash flow
Continue to pay attention to how every decision you make impacts your cash flow. Hire a great CFO and continue to have a daily, weekly and monthly dashboard to ensure you are on top of the money.
Stay focused on your customer
As you let go of operational duties and delegate the execution of the strategy, continue to listen and communicate to your customer. You are still the rainmaker and thought leader.
Build a candid, smart, courageous team
Fred Reid, the founding CEO of Virgin America, said he, “wanted everyone we hired to have a sense of purpose … we spent more time on that than anything else.”
As you scale, you may be tempted to opt for expedience because you are moving so fast. This is the place to slow down and get it right. If you want to succeed, you are responsible for growing enough leaders in your organization who can delegate and anticipate.
Remember your personal value
It is often hard to let go of tasks that you think you can do faster and better than anyone else. There may have been a time at the start of your company that it was worth spending a couple of hours of your time to save a few hundred dollars on office furniture. Now that is a very expensive, costly venture. It is the same when you spend time on activities that others can or should do.