Se ha denunciado esta presentación.
Se está descargando tu SlideShare. ×

Canny Bites Book 4 - successfully scale up or exit your business - A BLUEPRINT for scaling up

Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Throughout this book you will see the
ScaleEzee Framework. ScaleEzee is a new
platform with additional material that suppo...
03
Canny Bites
Successfully Scale Up or
Exit Your Business
Safaraz Ali
Author’s Note
Many inspirational and often influential entrepreneurs or leaders regularly
share their successes and lesson...
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Anuncio
Próximo SlideShare
Glen Wakeman blog
Glen Wakeman blog
Cargando en…3
×

Eche un vistazo a continuación

1 de 166 Anuncio

Canny Bites Book 4 - successfully scale up or exit your business - A BLUEPRINT for scaling up

Canny Bites books by Safaraz Ali

In the 4th Canny Bites book: successfully scale up or exit your business, Safaraz shares with you a blueprint for sytemising, productising and scaling your business and helping you go past that "next level".
We introduce Clarity and Accelerator Programme under the name of "Scaleezee" to successfully scale up or exit your business

Canny Bites books by Safaraz Ali

In the 4th Canny Bites book: successfully scale up or exit your business, Safaraz shares with you a blueprint for sytemising, productising and scaling your business and helping you go past that "next level".
We introduce Clarity and Accelerator Programme under the name of "Scaleezee" to successfully scale up or exit your business

Anuncio
Anuncio

Más Contenido Relacionado

Similares a Canny Bites Book 4 - successfully scale up or exit your business - A BLUEPRINT for scaling up (20)

Más de The Pathway Group (20)

Anuncio

Más reciente (20)

Canny Bites Book 4 - successfully scale up or exit your business - A BLUEPRINT for scaling up

  1. 1. Throughout this book you will see the ScaleEzee Framework. ScaleEzee is a new platform with additional material that supports you when putting your learnings from the entire Canny Bites series into practice. Visit www.cannybites.co.uk/scaleezee to download free templates, tools, and resources from the Canny Bites Series. More from Canny Bites 52 Bites of Business Wisdom for Leaders and Entrepreneurs Another 52 Bites of Business Wisdom for Leaders and Entrepeneurs Attract. Retain. Grow. Your Team to Grow Your Business
  2. 2. 03 Canny Bites Successfully Scale Up or Exit Your Business Safaraz Ali
  3. 3. Author’s Note Many inspirational and often influential entrepreneurs or leaders regularly share their successes and lessons learned in an auto biographical style when they talk about their journey. In my own mind these lessons and stories are great to listen to and read but can in some cases lack tangible takeaways. I also wouldn’t generally suggest to use these as a blueprint or toolkit to help you scale, sell, or exit your business. My aspiration with this book is to give you exactly that blueprint. One thing I have realised is that an enormous amount of effort goes into making things look easy and simple. This is even more accurate when referring to “successful businesses”. However, it is often the case that many business owners fall out of love with their business and lose track. If you or your team can think, focus on the future, and build a business culture where everyone puts growth first, that will go a long way in helping you along your journey. My view is simple: if you can remove common obstacles, navigate, and grab an opportunity with clarity of thought, you will be more likely to achieve your desired outcome. Some of the bites as stated in my previous books may seem obvious. But knowing something does not necessarily mean we implement it. The bites therefore might be timely reminders, allowing you to rethink your approach. I often find that the best advice is usually what I already know, but for whatever reason, don’t action. Even if you only apply one or two of the bites mentioned in this book, then the book will be worthy of your time and investment. I would like to begin by talking in general terms about some of my own observations and thoughts. First, we must be able to think slowly. By slowing down, you can reach your outcomes faster and make your goals more sustainable. One of my main thoughts is to “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst”. Experimentation and diversion are expensive and do not always guarantee commercial success. Focusing on continuous new business comes naturally, however, I believe the priority lies with building the right infrastructure for your business. Concentrate on people, systems, and processes in areas such as sales, customer service, data, human resources (HR), IT, and finance functions.
  4. 4. 05 If it is scalability you are after, you can’t make it up as you go along. This requires robustness, resolve and impactful implementation. Have your advisers advising but not deciding. You should manage your risks. Wherever possible, start with prioritising according to the level of risk, and ask yourself the question: ‘If this company was to fail, where would it fail and where do the critical risks lie?’ You should start by dealing with these risks before anything else. The7HabitsofHighlyEffectivePeoplebyStevenCoveyisaclassicpraiseworthy book that analyses something called scarcity mentality. According to Covey, people have a tough time sharing recognition alongside power, praise, and profit. They also struggle with being generously happy for the success of other people. Scarcity mentality is a belief that indicates that we are always competing for money, opportunity, or recognition and therefore, someone must lose. Living like this can lead to incredible fear and anxiety. Under these conditions, innovation, and teamwork suffer, and growth of any kind will be difficult and often unsustainable. Having a Clear Vision for the Growth of the Business Vision inspires confidence. It sets the scene for what can be achieved and gives us the strength to carry on when circumstances are far from the desired future. In these unprecedented times, we need business leaders to have a strong vision to carry and propel their business forward. How do you create a compelling business vision? It is important to project where you see your business in the future. Think of the future in an 18-to-36-month period and wherever possible, ideally no more than three years ahead. You will have a feel for the marketplace and its changes over that period, but nobody knows what is going to happen in the future! Following this process will allow you to update your vision on a yearly basis and test your three-year plan. Think about what the business should focus on, the sectors and regions you wish to serve, and the type of customers you prefer and want to build off. Think about the turnover, profitability, and margin that you expect to achieve in any period and work backwards wherever possible. Visualise the people that are needed to support growth and who within your team will be driving the business. Think about reporting mechanisms, systems, processes. What will you need in terms of other resources and what does success look like?
  5. 5. The Power of Breaking Down Your Vision into Strategic Themes Business plans are often only shared with a few people and more than often, they are not put into practice. This is where the vision breaks. When strategy themes are done correctly, they can be shared with everyone in the business to ensure everyone is on the same page. Ensure that your themes are broken down into clear goals which will allow your team to push in the same direction and take control of growth plans. Communication should be appropriate, with managers regularly reporting project goals in strategic themes. In addition, quarterly updates should be in place to help managers and other staff understand the impact that the work is having on the overall goals of the organisation. It is important to develop an understanding of the strategic themes that will allow the business to grow and evolve. It is often easy to identify ten or more strategic themes for any business. But it is important that you prioritise no more than five of these, ideally three. This will ensure greater focus and will help to ensure resources are not overstretched. Stay Focused Business owners and specifically entrepreneurs are known for often chopping and changing as well as jumping into new things. Stay focused when you have something that works for you. It is often your rigidity and sticking to what you already know that leads to greater success, as opposed to stretching yourself. This reduces risk. My advice is to stay immersed in what you are doing and keep doing it until that area becomes a real super strength and foundation for growth. Do not rely just on word of mouth for new business or the fact that you have done advertising in the market. If this is the case then you are missing out and not scaling in a planned way. You need multiple streams of new business and a diversifying source of leads. If you are relying on a single source for leads or sales, then you are operating at a higher level of risk. As a business owner, always think about making the most effective use of your time. We have all heard of ‘Working on your business and not in your business’. This is usually correct, however, we must pay microscopic attention to details and have a telescopic approach to our actions. I believe that the most effective use of time comes from working on the people who are working within your business combined with focusing on areas such as recruitment, customer service, new business, business planning, marketing, and developing a partnership network.
  6. 6. 07 Create Processes That Stimulate Growth Everything that is done within the business must be documented, and not just basic things such as visions, missions, roles, and responsibilities. It is also how you expect your team to do things. Focus on the processes where the hard work is done with less reliance on people like yourself and other senior leaders in your business. I know it is easier said than done, but systems and processes take priority over single or individual tasks. There is no extra benefit, and it can often be detrimental in your journey to scale if you are continuously focusing on single-action tasks. The business should be focused on leveraging systemisation and automation wherever possible. Keep thinking about the improvements that make actions easier, better, faster, and where possible, reduce the reliance on higher level skills. Do not manage personalities, instead manage processes. This can sound counter-intuitive, but strive to rely on processes, systems, and structure to get things done rather than individual talents. Think about processes and systems which can be embedded into the business and will give you the outcomes that you require. The best way to do this is to focus on how to achieve the outcome and not on the outcome itself. This is a small statement, but it has a massive impact within a business. Making Better Decisions Making better decisions is a big part of avoiding failure and attaining the right opportunities. Firstly, understand that at times we are irrational. We may make decisions based on fear, and these decisions can cause anxiety to ourselves and others. We should be more attuned to our thoughts and cognitive biases, remaining in a state of calmness and effectiveness. Perhaps not all the time, but at least most of the time. Identify and go back to the core problem. The problem you are looking at is often not the real problem. Dig deeper, go back, and ask yourself the question: ‘What is the business’s desired outcome(s)? To what purpose does this decision/action serve me?’ Think or rethink about your reasons. Look at the data and information that you have and work it out from there. Do not accept ‘catch all’ and general statements or comments – seek out the data that proves or disproves it. Always act in the best interest of your business and not what is easy for you or your team. Use your network and get the right peer support. For you, your peers have credibility, and it is often easier to accept their suggestions and thoughts. Talk things through and do not underestimate the power of doing so.
  7. 7. Sweat the small stuff. Be comfortable with ‘digging deeper’ and looking at the details. There are hundreds and often thousands of things in the business that we are either not using, not using effectively, or not adding any value. All of these small tweaks and changes put together can add up and deliver exceptional returns. Profit and Your Relationship with It The term profit for many years has taken on a negative meaning within society as a whole. Businesses often get accused of overly focusing on profit and not rewarding the team, along with taking advantage of customers or even endangering the environment and society. Profit should not be the only definition of a business’ success, even though it is important. You should establish what success means for your business and update it regularly. Everyone in your team should be on the same page when it comes to the definition of success and know how the business is working towards it. Thinking about the impact of success means digging into the things that will deliver business achievements. How do you continue to be valuable in your marketplace? Businesses should aspire to reach goals with a high level of commitment and dedication whilst holding a higher purpose than just profit. Stay in a constant state of discomfort. Comfort and complacency are the death of growth. This can result from not delving deeper and not asking harder and tougher questions. It is often the difference between doing things right or doing the right thing. Comfort can be described as taking the easy way – for example, defaulting to competing on prices and charging less instead of defining and using your key competitive advantages. To ensure that your business can sell and maximise any exit value, your business must not only be able to standalone without key people’s involvement, but also be able to continue to scale and grow. It is always helpful to re-examine your business and understand its areas of weakness. Acknowledge where improvements can be made, as well as the extent to which you can focus and double down. The basis of selling or maximising your exit is to build a strong client base with enough measures to ensure its continuity, but at the same time, reducing the dependence on key clients. Predictability is the holy grail of business, sustainability with growth should be the primary concern of any business and therefore your main focus.
  8. 8. 09 How to Use This Canny Bites Book The purpose of this book, and indeed the rest of the Canny Bites series, is to provide a blueprint to build and scale your business. This fourth instalment of the Canny Bites series is a follow up from Attract, Retain, Grow and contains strategies and techniques which are based on my own experience as a business mentor and social entrepreneur. I am striving add to your existing knowledge and possibly give you new ways of thinking that will hopefully allow you to grow ideas in ways you may not have previously thought of. The four books contain techniques that I believe in and implement within my own business and the entrepreneurs I work with. You can use these to create and build strong foundations which will inevitably help you to scale up your business. Like many other successful business leaders, my current thinking comes from my experiences - what I have learnt from own mistakes and the mistakes of others. My experience also comes from effective reading, listening, and viewing material that I believe have an impact. Most of it I have shared with you at the end of this book in the Additional Resources and Recommended Readings. I envision you will use this as a workbook and checklist to help you scale your business. Take it out as a point of reference when you need support and guidance – and even if I cover knowledge you already have, it will make sure you stay on track and don’t forget important steps in your growth. Therefore, I’ve created ScaleEzee - a platform where you can download free templates, tools, and resources to help your business flourish. Throughout this book you will see the ScaleEzee framework to help you determine your areas of improvement. You can get a range of other materials to support the next steps you are taking by visiting www.cannybites.co.uk/scaleezee I cannot say that I have all the answers relating to every business scenario or individual circumstance. This book and the material created, however, is a carefully planned collection of techniques, strategies, and approaches that I believe will help you successfully scale up or exit your business. I do hope that you will read and come back to this book as a source of reference. As with most books you will take the most out of the sections that you have the most connection with or need, so certain bites and tools are bound to grab your attention more than others. However you choose to read and implement; I wish you the best on your journey. Safaraz Ali Safaraz Ali
  9. 9. Contents Author’s Note ............................................................................ Introduction .............................................................................. 01 Start with the End in Mind Bite 1 Everything Will Be OK(R) ........................................ Bite 2 Plan for Change ..................................................... Bite 3 Getting the Basics Right .......................................... Bite 4 Unlock Your Super Strengths ................................... Bite 5 It Starts with Trust and Ends with Trust ...................... 02 Systems for Success Bite 6 The Three Drivers of Enterprise Value ...................... Bite 7 What’s the Process for That? ................................... Bite 8 All Systems Go ....................................................... Bite 9 Maximise Meetings ................................................. 03 The Power of People Bite 10 Build Your Power Team ........................................... Bite 11 Don’t confuse Happiness for Engagement ................ Bite 12 The Power of Peers - Empowering Your Team ............. Bite 13 The Power of Peers - Growth Through Shared Knowledge............................................................. Bite 14 The Power of Peers - The Magic of Masterminding ...... 04 12 25 26 30 34 38 42 47 48 52 56 62 69 70 78 82 86 90
  10. 10. 11 Bite 15 Sometimes You Can’t Do It Alone ............................. Bite 16 Good Governance .................................................. 04 Don’t Leave the Customer Behind Bite 17 What’s on Your Product Shelf? ................................. Bite 18 Customer Experience, Evolved ................................. Bite 19 “It’s Been a Pleasure to Do Business With You” ............ 05 Overcoming the Final Hurdle Bite 20 Is It the Right Time? ................................................ Bite 21 Exiting: One Size Doesn’t Fit All - External Methods .... Bite 22 Exiting: One Size Doesn’t Fit All - Internal Methods ..... Bite 23 It Doesn’t End Here ................................................. Conclusion ................................................................................ Glossary .................................................................................... Recommended Reading ............................................................. References & Additional Resources .............................................. Appendix .................................................................................. About the Author ....................................................................... 94 98 105 106 110 114 123 124 128 132 136 140 142 150 154 156 160
  11. 11. Introduction Why Scale Your Business? If you’re reading this book, it’s likely because you are wondering whether to, when to, and how to scale your business. The important question to consider first is a different one: Why? Why would you scale your business? I don’t evangelise scaling your business as it’s not necessarily the best route for everyone - ‘boutique’ or ‘lifestyle’ businesses are perfect for some. Knowing what you want is the key; you need to understand what’s right for you and the reasons you would scale, or the reasons you would keep your business small. It all starts with you, so it’s essential to first achieve clarity on your ‘why’. Let’s ask a tough question to start with… Why do so many businesses fail? Long-term business survival rates are low. Only a small number of businesses grow into successful game-changing enterprises. We hear this so often that we become immune to the reality and think it will be different for us. Yet, there are patterns and common reasons for failure which we can learn from. In simple terms, most businesses fail because of lack of profit, so it’s therefore crucial to understand what the underlying issues are that can cause lack of profit. When you have a growing, profitable business, there are inherent risks. Typically, the underlying issue is that the management capacities fall behind the needs of the day-to-day operations, which leads to growth pains such as high organisational stress and negative disruption. These types of growth problems quickly spiral out of control and it’s difficult to recover. The most significant study I’ve found in this area is The Scale Up Report on UK Economic Growth by Sherry Coutu CBE, commissioned by the British Government. It’s my go-to for everything to do with scaling, and I highly recommend it as a very handy reference guide and supplement to this book. You can find the report here: www.bit.ly/2WkoQC3
  12. 12. 13 INTRODUCTION Are You Ready to Scale Your Business? If you are seeking to scale your business, it’s crucial to understand the risks you may need to take and the sacrifices you may have to make before you begin. To maximise growth and to scale, you will need to stop pushing forward, slow down and take the time to look within. You must be open-minded and willing to learn things that it may not thrill you to hear. Don’t allow fear or ego to prevent you from assessing the steps you need to take. For example, it’s a mistake to assume that as the founder, you’re fully capable of taking your business to the next level. The best recent example of this is Ben Francis, the founder and current majority owner of Gymshark. Francis established the now multi-billion-pound business with the help of school friends but stepped down as CEO and moved to the position of Chief Brand Officer in 2017 - however he resumed his role as CEO in August 2021. Francis publicly stated that Steve Hewitt who took over his role was “the best person for the job”, and that the decision would allow the business to grow and give him the time to focus on his strengths, and let others develop his weaker areas to help him perform better. Francis stated, “You’ll need to set your ego aside and ensure the business is always put first, and the people strongest for each role are in those roles.” He recommends to anyone in a similar position to build the team in a way that’s truly best for the business. You may be the best person for the role and have the hunger and skills to develop, grow and scale the business. Yet, it is critical to understand that scaling requires a different skill set and strategy to the one needed to create a start-up. Unless you understand the new requirements and the implications – both for the company and for you as the leader – the odds of failing will be high.  It’s obvious that a company made up of people will be different to one of 50, 100, 1,000, and so on. The challenges and complexities are different, such as the requirements for structure, management team skills, board structure, and cash-flow. Growing pains caused by a misunderstanding of the best way to scale the business may stop growth or even result in negative growth, which is why it’s vital to focus on how to retain competitive advantage. example
  13. 13. As a founder it is likely you will have questions such as, “Should I go at it alone with the existing structure or should I bring in a partner or a co-founder? Should I raise capital?” These are the questions to answer first of all — not all answers are a simple yes or no. Each question leads to a series of potential steps for which the sequencing is important. I recommend you begin by figuring out what you want from your business, and whether scaling is right for you now. Self-awareness is the key. You have the right to choose your actions, and when you take the time to consider your options and to listen to that quiet voice inside, you’ll know which direction to take, and why it matters to you. If you are the founder of a business and things are moving in the right direction – you’re making profits and managing your cash as you grow - you may feel it’s time to go to the next level, which means scaling, right? Well, not necessarily. Let’s Talk About Scaling Scaling is a very specific type of company growth which isn’t right for everyone. To understand why, let’s explore the difference between growth and scaling.  With growth, a company’s primary focus is on improving product quality or increasing profitability. This results in linear growth, growing the company steadily. If we plot this type of growth on a graph, we see a straight line rising at an angle. The purpose of scaling, on the other hand, is to achieve accelerated growth. In most cases, this means sustainably but quickly increasing a company’s market share. Scaling is often referred to as exponential growth. If we plot it on a graph, we’ll get a line that looks like the letter ‘J’; the line will dip a little at first, before spiking steeply at a sharp angle. When scaling, you seek to secure growth that is sustainable over a long period. A leader who scales a commercial business will have the sale of products or services on their mind. Considering the importance of scaling and growing businesses to the UK economy, the lack of government information and support surprised me in this area, which is one of the reasons I wrote this book. If we go back a few decades, the term ‘Gazelle Business’ was coined, and was popular with the Government Accelerator programmes. The definition was ‘businesses that grew 20 percent per annum over a minimum of three years. The definition used in The Scale Up Report is: A scale up is an enterprise with average annualised growth in employees or turnover greater than twenty percent per annum over a three-year period, and with more than ten employees at the beginning of the observation period.
  14. 14. 15 INTRODUCTION This is the same definition used internationally by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and many national and international statistics agencies. It rightly focuses on companies that have sustained growth and seeks to root out micro enterprises with fewer than ten people because these companies can experience rapid growth, as a result of their relatively small size. Relative to the number of businesses that there are in the UK, scale up firms make up a tiny percentage; 8,923 businesses out of a total of 2 million plus companies are considered scale ups (May 2021). It is these scale up businesses that deliver the highest return for the UK plc in terms of job growth and overall economic growth. The report details that this is across a plethora of industries throughout the UK, not only digital or technology-based businesses. The Challenges of Scaling To successfully scale a business, a founder must typically retrain their instincts. I would even say that a founder is usually infallible gut instincts can be a liability with scaling. There’s no getting over it; scaling is a complex and rigorous process which requires careful planning and a powerful team. I’ve found there’s little room for gut instinct. When a business is in its infancy, its leader will typically make decisions based on their instincts. The leader will draw on their knowledge and experience to generate and execute solutions. Instinctive type management might work well for a small, agile company, but if decisions are made with instinctive management during the complex process of scaling, in my experience, the business frequently suffers. With scaling, the business will need to rely on hard data, which is the right data provided at the right time. Gone are the days of relying on anecdotal information because scaling requires careful, considered decisions, and there is a lot at stake. Only data can assist you in making these types of decisions. The leader or founder needs to stop making all of the decisions themselves because they won’t have time, and often may not be the right person to make every decision. This can be particularly challenging for an entrepreneur who is used to being involved in every move. But to scale successfully, giving up control is vital. The leader who doesn’t release some of his authority risks becoming a bottleneck and making poor decisions.  2,000,000 businesses 8,923 scale ups of
  15. 15. The good news is that you can change your behaviour to support the scaling process. To do so, commit to the following rules:  1. View data as sacred. Don’t make assumptions — get the data 2. Involve others to guide you and help you to make decisions where appropriate 3. Get the best advice from professionals around you 4. Don’t believe that no one else can do something as well as you 5. Delegate decision-making where possible 6. Get to know the details and the big picture   You may be reluctant to let your independence go. It has supported you through the challenges of establishing a business, but unless you consciously change the way you operate, scaling will be more difficult than it needs to be. Scaling demands that leaders put aside their visionary qualities, which isn’t easy. Most entrepreneurs aren’t natural scalers; they enjoy autonomy and flexibility which are typically entrepreneurial qualities and the reason many enjoy the start-up phase. But an organisation that’s being scaled has different requirements to one that’s finding its feet.  Scaling is much more process-driven and is typically mundane and repetitive, which can in turn frustrate the entrepreneur. For this reason, if you’re going to scale, you need to be aware of these factors to see if the reality of scaling is right for you. I recommend that you evaluate your expectations. If you’ve built a start-up, you may be used to a fast pace and so growing at 20 percent may seem very slow. Scaling is primarily operational and administrative, and it takes time to put the systems in place, which is something you must accept if you commit to scaling. You might feel discouraged, after I’ve told you that your amazing entrepreneurial talents won’t guarantee successful scaling. But it’s better you know this before you begin, so you can decide if it’s the right next step for you. Once a business grows beyond the start-up phase, we need to make decisions in a more considered manner. Teams must be part of the decision-making process, even if you still wish to have the last word. You will also need to slow down the decision-making process; this means dedicating time to studying data, consulting with colleagues, or researching solutions rather than acting only on instinct. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that the implementing pace must also slow down, it just means you make decisions from a solid foundation.
  16. 16. 17 INTRODUCTION In summary, scaling demands that the founder and other leaders set aside their visionary qualities to focus more on the detail, which isn’t always easy. Are you ready for the scaling challenge? Is Your Business Ready to Scale? I recommend you scale only when the time is right, which means you have the funding, and your business foundations are strong. Growth is expensive and risky, and success is not guaranteed. Things go wrong and businesses fail when they grow too fast, and the founder believes they are ready, when in reality they don’t have a firm foundation which includes the financial muscle to absorb fast growth. If the infrastructure is weak, and the service and product falters, it will disappoint customers, and the company reputation will be damaged. There is a lot of hype around scaling because of the huge potential rewards. When business owners get caught up in the excitement, I’ve noticed they frequently skip the important step in the process, which is defining a clear goal before moving forward. If your business meets the following criteria, it is ready for the next stage of the journey, should you choose to take it: a commercially viable, profitable business that can be operated without you. If not, then I recommend you take a serious look at what it will take to get your business to meet the criteria before scaling. INTRODUCTION
  17. 17. Going Back to Business Basics For you to grow and scale your business, you must first understand what business you are in. Ask yourself these key questions: What markets do you compete in? Who are your competitors and how do you compare and differentiate your company from them? Who is your customer and how do you make money? The more you understand your business’s position in the market, the more effective you will be at growing and scaling operations. You also need clarity on the products or services your organisation sells - as you know, businesses exist to solve problems. What problem does your business solve? What product or service do you offer to solve that specific problem? Who has this problem and why do they choose your product or service to solve it? Finally, what benefits do they get from using your product or service instead of others? Explaining the problem your business solves, who has that problem, and how your product or service solves it, should be second nature to you and the key members of your team. Being able to clearly articulate the benefits of using your product or service and why it’s better than any other solution in the marketplace is a cornerstone of a strong scaling foundation. This in-depth understanding of your customer and your product, and how the two work together is critical to understanding how your overall business functions. Success Breeds Success Our success sabotages our future growth because we grow complacent, comfortable, and we feel like we are in control and know what we’re doing. We may think we are still hungry, but when we look at diversifying and lose interest in the core areas before we have fully secured our dominance, it can place the current core business at risk because we’re not paying attention.
  18. 18. 19 INTRODUCTION Successful scaling demands that you stay focused, obsessed, and curious about your core business. Here are some more questions to ask yourself: Are you still in love with your business? Do you still think about it? Are you excited to make it better and to grow it, or has something else grabbed your attention? Are you still curious? Once you lose your precious curiosity, you may lose the special relationship with your customers, and as a result, lose relevance. Even though you may still be innovating and growing, you’re not focused on creating value for your customers. You may create output efficiently, but you’re in danger of not creating what they want because you’re no longer curious about their needs. Because you have achieved success, you may make the mistake of thinking you already know what they want better than they do. When your attention wanders, you naturally lose the obsession which used to have you constantly asking, “What do they need? What do they want? How can I be of greater service to them? How can I overdeliver and beat all their expectations?” When you’re considering whether you have the stamina to scale, ask yourself: What’s fuelling you? What’s driving you and for what reasons? Are you able to reignite or sustain your curiosity and obsession? What’s your drive to keep going? Is it your fear of failure, or the desire to achieve more and keep growing? It’s helpful to understand your inner motivations. Is Your Business Growing? To scale a business, it should already be growing. What’s the current growth rate, and what is considered a good growth rate? The first part of the question should be fairly simple to answer. The second part is harder because growth rates depend on your industry. They depend on the market segments and might even depend on your business, so it’s not a question that you can necessarily answer. Growth rates are relative, so keep that in mind. The good news is that while you can’t control an industry or a market segment growth rate, you can control how you position your business within that industry or market segment. Don’t ignore growth rates. They give an indication of whether you’re in an industry that has low or no growth, or perhaps even declining growth in which case it won’t be a good business to scale.
  19. 19. Premature Scaling “It’s all about risk and mitigating that risk and leveraging what works in the business.” Even if you have a great product and your business is going well, scaling poses important and often unexpected challenges to any company that wants to grow. It all starts with the numbers: is your business measuring and reporting positive numbers? This is the beginning of the journey; the data you have and what you do with it is critical because if you have good reporting systems, you’ll be able to detect problems immediately and tackle them. To ensure you don’t run out of cash or lose track of strategic decisions, you must have an efficient organisational structure and decision-making process in place. You and your team have to be the drivers of personal and economic growth. Companies must enhance their personnel management in tandem with their growth; it’s all about people. Think of your managers as coaches; one-on-one coaching is essential for employees to stay focused and motivated. If your managers aren’t already experienced in coaching, consider providing them with additional training. Leaders also have to find the balance between the demands of stakeholders and doing their work. Even though your company’s processes must be profitable, it’s also important to keep your reputation with your stakeholders in mind. Creating a custom-tailored strategy is the key, and to execute your strategy, you must establish effective routines, systems, and processes. Growth doesn’t always lead to long-term success if the team, the strategy, and the organisational and physical infrastructure don’t grow alongside one another. The Growth Paradox Shouldn’t growing make things easier? The answer in most cases is, “No, not necessarily”. You’d think the larger a company grows, and the more established its routines, the easier things become, but the more employees you have, the more effort it takes to organise them effectively. This is called the growth paradox. If you feel stuck in your growth process, it’s likely that your team structure and size isn’t well organised. But remember, growth doesn’t happen overnight! If you want your success to be long-term, you must view expansion as a long- term process.
  20. 20. 21 INTRODUCTION Make sure that the right people are doing the right things — and are doing them correctly. For example, it’s unlikely that an executive team could make everyone responsible for marketing without something going wrong. We need clear responsibilities, otherwise nobody is accountable. And a lack of accountability is a sure-fire way to drive a business towards failure. You’ll need a strong strategic vision for strong scaling. You’d be hard-pressed to find a company with over 50 employees and a boss who can remember all their names. As your organisation grows larger, it’s vital that you retain the sense of purpose that keeps smaller businesses so motivated and connected, but how is that possible? It’s a matter of strategy. By establishing core values, you give your organisation comprehensible guidelines for every decision. These are the norms of a company’s culture and should be stated in a succinct realistic sentence. For example, “Practice what you preach.” You should also make your company’s mission clear by formulating a core purpose. This can be as brief as one word and signify what you want to achieve. For Disney, the core purpose is “happiness.” Brand Promises These are the things you guarantee your customers. By referring to, for example, three brand promises during decision- making, you can ensure your actions satisfy customer expectations. To establish your brand promises, you need to look into your customers’ minds. What do they think when they hear your company’s name? Another way to make sure you deliver on your brand promises consistently is by gathering data. Quantitative and qualitative data will keep you informed and as a result, strengthen your decision-making in every scenario. Make sure everyone in your company knows their key performance indicators (KPIs). Only then can they measure their daily performance. If data shows a gap between goals and performance, you can then ask what the current barriers are and know specifically what to improve. Present your plan for change with a formalised and simple to grasp structure of KPIs and targets, and clearly assign tasks and responsibilities. INTRODUCTION
  21. 21. Customer feedback is just as important as financial feedback. Don’t forget to speak with your clients to see if they experience any problems with your team. The more closely you observe your data, the faster you can respond to difficulties and repair the damage. Cash Flow A growing company needs cash flow to feed its growth. Without good cash flow reporting in place, it is impossible to know how much cash you will need to invest to fund your expansion. Some companies neglect this critical element of growth and are not sufficiently equipped to understand their financial position. It’s essential to understand how cash flows through your company and to have good cash reserves. In the book, Great by Choice, Jim Collins and Morton T. Hansen reveal that outstanding companies have three to ten times more cash in reserve than their mediocre competitors. With the concept of marginal improvement and what I call the one-degree difference, you can work out which factor can reduce costs most efficiently. With this method you visualise how a one percent or one day change of each of your potential levers would affect your cash flow. For example, you could calculate the effect of reducing your operating costs by one percent or reducing stock days by one day. Then do the same for another lever and so on. By comparing this information, you’ll find the most financially efficient lever. Growth is complex, but with the right tools your company can scale powerfully. By tracking existing processes and examining your cash flow, you can target what needs tweaking. With succinct long-term plans and clear vision summaries, you’ll make your goals achievable, while motivational management and regular communication will keep your team on track.  Organisational Chart A functional organisational chart provides effective, team-based decision- making. While it doesn’t sound particularly sexy, it’s essential. How do you create a structure that works? I’ve found that the key is for each part of the organisation, and each person, to prioritise the business’s needs ahead of their own and their teams. To gain traction in the market, you need to develop a clear plan for your business. You also need the right people in the right places, you must track the data, streamline processes and be aware of any potential issues in your business. 
  22. 22. 23 INTRODUCTION This is why scaling is sometimes called the ‘problem of more’. Scaling not only requires replicating best practices but improving performance along the way so you’re not replicating inefficient actions. In other words, the ‘problem of more’ must also be seen as the ‘problem of better’. Scaling requires the drive to keep innovating, to change organisational behaviours and structures, and to find better strategies for delivering your product or service. People Matter Involving the right people in your scaling effort is critical to its success, as is fostering accountability among excellent people. But you don’t only need excellent people with the right skills and training. You also need people who are accountable and act in the company’s best interests at all times. The challenge is to find people with both excellent skills and the commitment to accountability. Beware of the Bad Make it a priority to eliminate negative practices before spreading good ones. One of the biggest threats to your scaling efforts is the replication of existing bad behaviour, which is contagious and can reverse your hard-won progress. Even small, negative actions can be extremely damaging to the performance of your organisation, because destructive behaviour escalates quickly. Since destructive behaviour is so infectious, leaders need to address it with vigilance and perseverance before trying to spread new excellent practices. A ‘no tolerance for bad behaviour mindset’ is a brilliant start, and from there you can build on it with better practices. I’d love to see your company become one of the big success stories. Don’t charge into scaling like a bull at a gate and find that you’ve trampled your chances of sustainable company growth. By understanding the fundamentals of scaling and what it requires from you and your employees, you will set yourself up so that your organisation’s market share rockets. 
  23. 23. 25 START WITH THE END IN MIND 01 Start with the End in Mind When preparing to scale, making sure you have the foundations in place and that you are getting the basics right, will only make growth easier. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer or investor. What do they want to see to consider your business a healthy investment? Looking inward and understanding both your strengths as a business leader, but also where your company is succeeding, will help identify where you need to improve - and thus your work can begin. Setting clear objectives and key results as well as planning for when things might not go as expected are just some of the basics we will cover in these bites. Use them as a checklist so that you set yourself up for success.
  24. 24. As the French writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, once famously said: “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. There’s no doubt that scaling up and exiting your business is a daunting prospect but having a plan which breaks your overall goal into smaller, more achievable goals helps take away the fear and uncertainty that often comes with having big dreams. Meet Your New Best Friend – the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) Framework OKR is a goal-setting framework for defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes. It’s a remarkable evolution from the traditional goal-setting techniques and frameworks which you may already be familiar with, such as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely (SMART) goals. The OKR framework is used by many successful companies, including Google, to help them to achieve big, aspirational goals. Bite 1: Everything Will Be OK(R)
  25. 25. 27 START WITH THE END IN MIND From a company perspective, OKRs offer control and transparency. They allow you to see that everyone is working towards a common goal. From an individual viewpoint, OKRs help you form a clear picture of what you can achieve personally and ensure you are progressing in line with your own ambitions and desires, while contributing to the company goal. OKRs require you to engage in structured thinking. They force you to stand back and think about where you or your organisation wants to get to, and crucially, how and whether you believe you can accomplish it. The Basic Question We Aim to Answer with OKRs is: Where Do We Want to Get to? This question ensures you stay focused on the long-term growth of the company. Your objectives should be your answer to that question and should make a statement about the future. They should be aspirational and inspirational, qualitative, and should be set out to be achieved in a specific time frame. They must be big enough to be transformational, they should be risky and may even make you uncomfortable. They frequently involve committing time and money to something that may not work and might not happen. If you look at your OKRs and feel super confident you’ll achieve them, then you’re not thinking big enough to maximise your OKR potential. Some examples of objectives may be: Open a new business division in China Launch a new product line Become the top-rated business locally in your industry Your key results are then the quantifiable steps that will help you to achieve this objective; key results help you to turn a wish into a goal and answer the question: “How will I know I’m getting to where I want to be?”. Your key results should be challenging, yet achievable, and crucially, they need to be measurable. Key results are commonly measured by factors such as: Growth Engagement Revenue Performance Quality START WITH THE END IN MIND
  26. 26. Some examples of key results may include: Hit sales target of £x in sales by [date] Increase the average deal size in [business division] by x% Reduce lost customers to less than x% annually Maintaining Your Friendship with Your OKRs Like any friendship, OKRs need attention if they’re going to work. Once you have defined your objectives and key results, communicate them with your team and any other stakeholders. You should try and give different people responsibility for different key results, so everyone is contributing to achieving the overall objective. Consider the visibility of your OKRs. Is there a space in your office or a shared online space where everyone can be reminded of them and the progress against them regularly? You should also consider the regularity of checking against progress with the team. Depending on the time frame, a good framework is a brief weekly-check in with a more in-depth look at progress every quarter. If you’ve created good, results-focused objectives then understanding whether they have been successful and to what degree should be simple. The result should be definitive – a traffic system works well for this. At the end of each quarter and year, you can use this system to grade your OKRs. The results should be published within the organisation to provide direction, correction, and monitoring. The point of this is to measure and observe what went well and what didn’t, to inform future decisions and next steps. If something has succeeded, what happens next? If something has failed, do you ditch it or try again? If you find that you are achieving your key results well ahead of schedule, this may be because the objective you set is not ambitious enough. Reflect again on the question “Where do I want to be?” and update your OKRs if you need to. Traffic System: Green: Nailed it Amber: Delayed/in progress Red: missed
  27. 27. 29 START WITH THE END IN MIND Remember, good OKRs should be: Ambitious – if your objective doesn’t scare you and your key results don’t stretch you and your business, you’re not aiming high enough. Measurable – every key result should have a number, value or date attached to it so you can easily measure success. Visible – encourage collaboration and accountability across your business. Graded – whatever time frame you decide on, whether it’s weekly or quarterly, make sure you review your progress against your OKRs regularly and grade each on how much you have achieved. How could the OKR framework help you achieve your business goals as you scale up? OKRs is a framework which defines and tracks objectives and their outcomes. It gives complete transparency and ensures everyone is working towards the same goal. Make sure you communicate your OKRs with the wider team. Give different people responsibilities for key results to get buy-in and create ownership. Evaluate your OKRs in frequent intervals to identify what went well and not so well. It will help inform next steps. Notable Nibbles
  28. 28. Bite 2: Plan for Change As Murphy’s Law states, what can go wrong will go wrong. No matter how much you plan, it’s inevitable that you will stumble along the way. We’ve all been there - thinking our plan was fool proof only to be surprised that not everything paid off. How you respond when things don’t go to plan, will shape you as a business leader - and if you respond well to adversity, it will make you a really good one. Take a step back, rethink your direction and make the change that is needed so that you can keep moving forward. Ensuring you stay flexible and agile will allow you to tackle obstacles head on and help you come out on top. By assessing your goals and objectives - and what risks will stand in the way for you to reach them - you will be well prepared to face whatever challenges come your way. That being said, you will not be able to remove all risks, but understanding them means that you are in a better position to reduce the impact of them.
  29. 29. 31 START WITH THE END IN MIND Things that can frequently go wrong include not having shareholder agreements, not registering trademarks, and not having the right contracts, but this is just the tip of the iceberg and if you’re savvy, plan ahead, and assess all possible hindrances, these things shouldn’t go wrong. However, if you fail to plan, these could easily catch you out. Working to eliminate things that will hinder you in reaching your objectives will keep your plan on track. Preparing for When Things Go South If you’ve read Bite 1, you should already be thinking about the objectives and key results for your business, and your plan for how you get over the finishing line. But have you considered what hurdles you have to jump over to get there? Building business resilience starts with three easy steps: Once you have set your OKRs, map out your route to success. Visualise every step that you need to take in order for you to achieve your objective. It may look like a plan with consecutive steps, or it may be mapped out like a stage at the Tour de France, or it may be drawings of each step to help you really see the big picture. For each step you identify that will get you towards the finishing line, map out every possible scenario and obstacle that will prevent you from reaching your goals. We often make assumptions; however, they may form part of the risks that you need to identify. Once you’ve mapped out each risk, it’s time to explore possible solutions and ways to work around the hurdle. Make an action plan for what to do when you hit a roadblock, and make sure to communicate the scenarios and plans with stakeholders and decision makers so they know exactly what to expect when things don’t go to plan. 01 02 03
  30. 30. What to Do When Things Don’t Go According to Plan The obvious thing to do is stick to the actions and scenarios you have mapped out already. From the actions, identify your immediate options - what gets you closer to get back on track? Start taking action immediately as soon as you have identified your next steps. Make sure you lean on your team - even if it’s only a small obstacle. Oftentimes getting a second pair of eyes on a problem will bring different solutions that you might not even have considered. Delegate actions and make use of the experts you work with to ensure you’re staying on track. There is also a real opportunity for learning so that you can prevent finding yourself in a similar situation. It is important to acknowledge what has gone wrong. Ask yourself the tough questions; what went wrong, how did it go wrong, what could I do better next time, and what you have learnt. Writing everything down on paper will help you see the situation a little more clearly and think more logically about what might be an emotional response. Rethinking the whole scenario and how you could have prevented it will stand you in good stead for handling risks in the future.
  31. 31. 33 START WITH THE END IN MIND Have you analysed the risks of your plan? Prepare for the worst-case scenario by mapping your route to success and identifying possible risks. Make an action plan for what to do if you hit a roadblock and make sure all stakeholders and decision makers are aware of your plans, so they know exactly what to expect when things don’t go to plan. Staying flexible and agile will help you come out on top when things don’t go to plan. It is also a good learning opportunity so you can prevent finding yourself in a similar situation. Notable Nibbles
  32. 32. Bite 3: Getting the Basics Right By no means is scaling up and exiting a straightforward task, and that may lead you to neglect certain elements, but one small oversight could land you in hot water. Ensuring you have the basics down is key in minimising issues and maximising your business’s potential. Consider if you were contemplating investing in a business; what would you be looking for? That’s Where the Due Diligence Checklist Comes in... There may not be a predetermined set of rules when scaling up and exiting your business, but there are certainly guidelines to consider from the onset to alleviate any worries. Sticking to a due diligence checklist will not only simplify the process and ensure it’s regulatory, but it will also establish trust and certainty between you and a potential buyer.
  33. 33. 35 START WITH THE END IN MIND Due Diligence Checklist Check it off Has cash flow been predicted? Do you know your market? Are you clear on shareholders agreements? Is your company compliant? Is corporate governance up to date? Predicting Your Cash Flow When considering selling your business, you need to think about your predictions for your cash flow. What is it based on? Do you have a proven way of predicting figures? How will you predict future revenue? And are these predictions accurate? Answering questions such as these is fundamental from the get-go Knowing Your Market How well do you actually know your market? Is it growing or changing? These are things you constantly need to be aware of. Ownership Think about the structure of your business; who are the directors and shareholders? Are these the same people? Before selling your business, it’s important to be clear on the shareholder agreements and contracts that are in place. Corporate Governance Whensellingyourbusiness,therearecertainelementsofcorporategovernance required to comply with the Companies Act. Consider the following: If previous directors exited, was this done properly in terms of structure? Were the correct procedures followed when dividends were paid? Has there been the right decorum for meetings in compliance with the Companies Act? Is the corporate governance up to date? These are a few of many questions you should be asking yourself. As a starting point, consider whether the company’s development is correctly filed and documented.
  34. 34. Areas of Compliance What should you check over to make sure your company is compliant? Contracts Have you checked contractors are registered as self-employed? Have you reviewed employment contracts? Intellectual Property Are domain names secure? Is intellectual property trademarked? Accounts Are dividends and loans properly accounted for? Customers Who are they and what are your customer agreements? Finance Have you thought about loans, overdrafts, creditors, debtors and personal guarantees? Is VAT and PAYE in order? Health and Safety Have you checked this is in order? Policies and Procedures Are your documents up to date? Does the business comply with policies and procedures? GDPR Does the business comply with the latest General Data Protections Regulations? Directors’ Duties Have these been undertaken properly? Inventory Do you have inventory? Are there accruals and prepayments?
  35. 35. 37 START WITH THE END IN MIND What issues could arise from not considering all aspects of a due diligence checklist? Before you consider scaling up, ensure everything is above board and compliant with corporate rules and regulations. Make sure your company’s important artefacts are clearly and orderly stored and filed, preferably on a computer with a backup. Be clear on any agreements that are in place with shareholders and the like. When deciding to sell your business, it’s imperative to ensure everything is above board from the get-go. Think of it this way; if you were selling your house, not having all the relevant documents organised could be a deal breaker. On the flip side, would you purchase a house from someone who failed to provide you with detailed information? Notable Nibbles
  36. 36. Bite 4: Unlock Your Super Strengths In this bite we will dig into your personal strengths; who are you? What are you good at? Understanding yourself and your key strengths is a crucial part of leadership. That way you can capitalise on your skills and understand where you need to improve or know when to lean on your team to make sure the business is in a good position to scale and grow. Hey, you! Fill in our form for a chanc e to Do we offer anyth ing differ ent from other busin esses ? Yes No A little What do you enjoy about our in-sto re exper ience ? What s your favou rite produ ct in store and your age?
  37. 37. 39 START WITH THE END IN MIND This requires you to have a very honest look at yourself. It’s not necessarily a quick fix - getting to know yourself takes time and dedication into dissecting your habits, likes and dislikes, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Understanding your values, beliefs, motivations and desires will lead you on the right path to personal growth and build you as a leader. Identifying Your Weaknesses Will Be Your Strength Knowing where you fall short in any scenario, can be one of the most difficult things to identify. But one of the most powerful tools in your box. Understanding where you need to improve you can easily make tactical decisions about how to minimise your skills gap or plan your way out of it through strategic hires. When pinpointing weaknesses, these can be some good questions to ask yourself: What tasks do I leave to the very last minute? Which do I dread? What drains my energy? When do I have to ask for help? If you are struggling to put a finger on tasks, skills, and situations that you are less good at - or don’t know how to do at all - start by listing all that your job as a business leader encompasses. Go through each one and rate yourself on a scale from one to five, where five is expert level and one is ‘I have no clue at all’. Where you fall below three can be classed as an area of improvement and therefore a weakness in one respect or another. Turn Your Super Strength up a Notch Our strengths often correlate with what we like doing. So, when looking to put your strengths down on paper, look at what you like doing, but also look at situations where you have had good feedback - either directly from team members or peers - and tasks you have handled particularly well. Use your new-found understanding of your strengths to rethink how you work both on a daily basis, but also around certain team members and in specific situations. How can you use your strengths in scenarios that are out of your comfort zone or that play to your weaknesses? It can be helpful to get a 360-degree view of yourself by asking your peers to provide anonymous feedback to help you grow into a more resilient and agile leader.
  38. 38. List your top three strengths and weaknesses. How do they fit into the plans of scaling your business? Getting to know yourself is one of the most important tools in your box. This will help you identify any gaps that need filling through training or strategic hires. You can use your super strengths not only in situations you are comfortable in but knowing what you are good at will set you up for success when you are out of your comfort zone. When scaling your business, knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you understand where you need to invest to improve your business. Understanding yourself requires a deep look at yourself, and it will help you identify where you need to improve your skills. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will also allow you to identify where you can make strategic hires to support your business growth. Notable Nibbles I’ve Found My Super Strengths but How Will That Help Me Scale My Business? If you’re emotionally savvy and in touch with who you are, you can play to your strengths and also understand what you need to work on to be better. That way, when it’s crunch time, you have what it takes to scale up your business. Identifying exactly what your super strengths are and how they will help building your business is key for growth and success. However, in turn it also highlights what you need to bulk up and invest headspace and energy to improve.
  39. 39. 41 START WITH THE END IN MIND FRAMEWORK Clarity on Strategy Both myself and my team members are not clear on what is our strategic direction and plan. 1 2 3 4 5 100 percent of our management and our entire team can clearly articulate our strategic direction and plan. We are not clear on what our organisational priorities are and tend to priorities unimportant tasks. 1 2 3 4 5 There is absolute clarity about our organisational priorities, and everyone knows how they personally support those priorities. We are not sure what we as an organisation would like to accomplish in the future. 1 2 3 4 5 We spend more time being proactive towards our goals rather than reactive. As of today, we have not set long term goals or annual goals that would help us in the future. 1 2 3 4 5 We have identified and committed to long term goals and annual goals that support our future. We are not really sure what market we are part of and what market we fill. 1 2 3 4 5 Our company is positioned for long term sustainability because of the opportunity in the market that we fill. Our customers tend to not return and that causes us to always be looking for ways to bring new cliental into our business. 1 2 3 4 5 Our products and services are structured for making a sale once and getting paid long term. (The customer needs to come back again and again.) I am sure not at the current moment my organisation is not ready to be scaled. 1 2 3 4 5 We have scalability because future sales cost less and are easier to capture. Me and my team members are not 100 percent sure what business we are in. 1 2 3 4 5 We know exactly what business we are in. My team and I are not clear on who our target audience is. 1 2 3 4 5 We are selling what people want to buy and are very marketable to our target audience. We just focus on that task at hand and do the minimum to complete it. 1 2 3 4 5 Our team thinks big picture and with a mindset of abundance. I have not taken the time to consider why I want to grow a business. 1 2 3 4 5 There is a real passion, genuine excitement and total unity from me and my team on why we want to grow. The day job always takes priority over growing the firm. 1 2 3 4 5 Time is set aside daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually to review and progress our firm’s three year growth plans. If we have done a Client Portfolio Analysis for our firm it was a long time ago. 1 2 3 4 5 Every six months we do a complete Client Portfolio Analysis and identify recommendations to increase the profitability and turnover of our business. Leads are not tracked or qualified. 1 2 3 4 5 Every enquiry the firm receives is tracked and qualified before being progressed. It is very difficult to distinguish between my firm and local competitors. 1 2 3 4 5 My firm is well known for a niche market, and our profile in that niche is so strong that we attract ‘pre-sold high quality clients to our firm. I do not have a marketing plan to produce a predictable number of leads, improve conversion rates, increase the average revenue per transaction and increase the transactions per client. 1 2 3 4 5 I have an aggressive, measurable mar- keting plan to produce a predictable number of leads, improve conversion rates, increase the average revenue per transaction and increase the transactions per client so profits increase significantly. How Do You Measure? 1 = Poor/Rarely 5 = Excellent/Always Visit www.cannybites.co.uk/scaleezee to download more free templates, tools, and resources.
  40. 40. Bite 5: It Starts with Trust and Ends with Trust The fundamental of any relationship, business or otherwise, is trust. Someone may know and admire you, but that isn’t enough for them to invest in your business. Would you want to go into partnership with someone you didn’t trust? Would you purchase something off someone you didn’t trust? When scaling your business, you need your customers and potential customers to trust you; you need your team to trust you; you need suppliers to trust you. All of these people need to know you are credible and reliable, otherwise they simply won’t want to invest time and resources into your company. Simply put, without trust, your business can’t grow. So, how do we create trust? To do this, you need to rethink what you already know about building trust in relationships.
  41. 41. 43 START WITH THE END IN MIND Credibility Can they trust what you say? Are you credible on the subject? Intimacy Do they feel safe and secure enough to entrust you with something? Reliability Can they trust you to deliver? If you say you’ll do something, do they trust you to achieve this? Self-orientation Where does your focus lie? Are you acting on the best needs of you or your prospects? Building Trust Externally In order to grow your business, you need to build trust with those outside of your company. The Trust Equation When establishing trust externally, consider Dave Maister’s Trust Equation: Trust = C + R + I / S The Trust Equation denotes that there are four key components to be considered when establishing trust: To create trust, you need to demonstrate high levels of credibility, reliability, and intimacy to your prospects. As the denominator, the higher self- orientation, the lower the trust and therefore self-orientation needs to be low. In order to grow your company, it’s vital to consider how it can benefit others. The more you offer to your prospects and consider their needs, the more likely they are to respond to you and your business. Consistently living by the trust equation is key to establishing trust.
  42. 42. So, How Do You Prove This? You know the key components of trust, but how do you demonstrate that you live by these to a prospect? Show, Don’t Tell It’s one thing to say you will accomplish something, but it’s another thing to actually do it. Consistently live up to your promises and complete tasks when you say you will. You can prove this via client case studies; these are a great way of showing the work your business does and letting the customer form their own opinion. Practise Honest Communication Sometimes, life gets in the way and so there may be times when you are unable to complete a task you promised to. Be upfront and honest with your customers, clients, and suppliers; if you can’t achieve something, let them know straight away. The worst thing you can do is try to brush an issue under the rug - it will come to light eventually. Consider Your Brand and Marketing How do you brand or market yourself? Take your website, for example, do you put focus on you (as a business) or your clients and customers? Do you demonstrate core values that you live by? Prove You Know Your Customers Your customers should always be at the forefront of your mind - after all, they are ultimately who will cause your business to grow. Personalise your relationships with them; ensure you know them inside and out; tailor their experience. In doing so, you will create intimacy and, as a result, a stronger relationship. Building Trust Internally Building trust within your company is just as imperative as building trust outside of it. With your business growing, that likely means an influx of new employees - but without trust, are they going to perform as well as possible? Are they going to stay with the company on a long-term basis? To build trust internally, it’s important to consider the key ingredients of trust. Get your business online Find out how we can revolutionise even the easiest of tasks ABOUT IO 01 02 03 SERVICES CONTACT 3% 13% 84% online ABOUT SERVICES CONTACT Get your business online Find out how we can revolutionise even the easiest of tasks ABOUT IO 01 02 03 SERVICES CONTACT 3% 13% 84% Get your business online Find out how we can revolutionise even the easiest of tasks ABOUT IO 01 02 03 SERVICES CONTACT 3% 13% 84%
  43. 43. 45 START WITH THE END IN MIND If you were to purchase from a company, what would you cause you to trust them? Mutual trust is the foundation of scaling up your business; if an investor trusts you, they are more likely to work with you. Build trust by delivering what you say you will when you will and achieving results. Know where your gaps in knowledge lie and communicate these. Communication is the cornerstone of trust. Personalise your relationships and treat every individual differently based on their own needs and characteristics. This will help you be more authentic. Character What characteristics are you exhibiting? What is your intent? Are you acting in a caring, open and transparent manner? Do you have integrity? Are you engaging in honest, authentic and fair communication? Competence Are you proving that you are capable of running a business? What skills, knowledge and experience do you have? What reputation do you have within the industry? Do you achieve the results you promised? Is this backed up by your performance? By demonstrating these attributes from the onset, you are more likely to build a team centred around mutual trust and respect. Trust is the foundation of growth and so it’s imperative to consider how you are demonstrating this to those around you. If you want to scale up your business, the key is to build long-term relationships based on mutual trust. Notable Nibbles
  44. 44. 47 SYSTEMS FOR SUCCESS 02 Systems for Success Now that you have the foundations in place the next step is to ensure that you create processes which will help streamline your company and make it more efficient. When it comes to scaling, having the right systems in place will help you achieve your goals faster as you can easily set everything in motion. Firstly look at your company’s enterprise value and which factors you need to change to increase this. You can do this by creating processes that ensure consistency across all areas of your business from HR to finance to sales and marketing. Once you have the processes in place it is time to evaluate whether you have all the right systems available to make your teams’ work easier.
  45. 45. Bite 6: The Three Drivers of Enterprise Value When a potential investor is considering backing your business, one of the first things they will want to look at is the numbers. From gross profit to costs, you need to be prepared for every number in your business to be raked through with a fine- tooth comb. When understanding the health of your finances, potential investors will look at your enterprise value to determine whether your business is a good investment. Definition: Enterprise value (EV) is a measure reflecting a company’s total value. In its calculation, EV includes the market capitalisation of a company, but also short-term and long-term debt as well as any cash on the company’s balance sheet. The equation looks like this: EV = Market capitalisation + Total debt - cash and cash equivalents
  46. 46. 49 SYSTEMS FOR SUCCESS When looking to increase your enterprise value, understanding your numbers is the first step. Do you know which numbers are important? What should you measure? And are you prepared to answer all the difficult questions a potential investor may have? What Drives Enterprise Value? There are three key factors that drive enterprise value and understanding how each of them play into the bigger picture will help when you are looking to take on investment. Let’s dive a little deeper into each of them: Current Profitability Current profitability depends on two things: true profit and sales efficiency. Optimising your true profit, you either need to increase your turnover or reduce your cost. Most businesses have the potential to do both through better deals with suppliers, automation and making more sales or increasing prices. To increase your sales efficiency, you need to consider how long the sales process is. You want to be bringing in new business now rather than waiting several months for it to materialise. Consider developing an efficient sales system to increase your profitability. Growth Once you’ve increased your current profitability, the only way to increase your turnover is by growing your business. You can do this in three easy ways: 1. Sell more to your existing, happy customers. This is often an overlooked, but simple strategy. 2. Sell to your former customers. A former customer is someone who has bought from you before but hasn’t returned within the expected timeframe. Provided they didn’t have a bad experience, these are easy to re-engage. Don’t overlook your list of previous customers; it’s a gold mine of new business. 3. Bring in and retain new customers. New customers can be expensive to acquire, so to maximise your return on investment, you need to ensure they stay with you for their lifetime value as opposed to one off sales. To do this, it is essential to develop a customer retention strategy.
  47. 47. Profit Sustainability Potential investors will not only look at your current profit, but at your future profit as well. So, making sure you have a sustainable new business flow will increase your EV. These are the four main factors to control your profit sustainability: 1. Recurring revenue and low turnover of clients - locking clients into long-term contracts and recurring payments creates predictability. 2. The right kind of client - Profitable clients who are a match for what your potential investor wants. 3. The key person risk - You can’t have one person who does everything in one department - put your eggs in more than one basket to ensure stability. 4. A consistent philosophy of moving forwards - Have a continuity and succession plan in place so a new potential owner can step into your place, follow the plan and keep the business moving. Be Patient and Bide Your Time Growing takes time - and so does creating sustainable profits. If you’re looking to sell your business within three years, I would recommend that you rethink and reconsider. Delaying selling gives you more time to prepare. You ideally need five years to maximise the effects of the changes you make to your business with the three drivers of EV. If you can’t delay, focus on increasing sales and reducing overheads through improved efficiency, better costs and automation where possible. In short, what can you do in this short space of time to boost your sales and slash your overheads to maximise your current profitability?
  48. 48. 51 SYSTEMS FOR SUCCESS What is your current EV and what is your plan to improve it? When you’re looking to sell, investors will look through your finances with a fine tooth comb. They will analyse your enterprise value to see whether your company is a good investment. Enterprise values have three drivers: current profitability, growth and profit sustainability. Evaluate all three to see where you can improve to grow your enterprise value. Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was growing your business. You will need more time than you think to maximise the effects of the changes you make to your business. Notable Nibbles
  49. 49. Bite 7: What’s the Process for That? Many roll their eyes when they hear the words process or standard operating procedure; ‘Do we really need that?’ or, ‘We all know what to do’ are often some of the answers you hear when the conversation falls on standardising processes. But without them, things can quickly fall apart, and a lack of systems and procedures can often lead to team members doing things their ‘own way’. Initiative is always great, yet if customer experience suddenly changes from one team member to another, or there are internal clashes because of disagreements, the situation changes. It’s not only customer facing jobs that can benefit from having a ‘rule book’ or a common understanding of how things are done. From HR, to finance and customer service, all areas of the business have at least one process where you can benefit from identifying the most efficient way of working.
  50. 50. 53 SYSTEMS FOR SUCCESS MAIN QUESTION SECONDARY QUESTION SECONDARY QUESTION OUTCOME SECONDARY QUESTION PRIMARY QUESTION PRIMARY QUESTION What Is Your Process for Identifying and Creating a Process? Looking at what is in place already is a good first step. You might find that you have some processes locked down, while others are lacking. Identifying your current processes can actually be one of the most challenging tasks. When looking at defining processes and rethinking current ways of working to streamline workflow, following these three tips will set you up for success: 1. Gather Your Team: Since the main goal is to get an in-depth view of the daily tasks your employees are performing, why not include them so you can truly understand how they work? Start with a simple question such as, ‘We collect money from our customers and then we pay our bills.’ Ask the person in charge of that task to walk you through it step by step. Dig deeper and ask questions when the team member mentions a piece of information, they get from someone else. Keep tracing the chain until the whole task is mapped out. 2. Build a Flow Chart: Visualising the task and its different steps will help guide you. It will allow you to organise and conceptualise the flow, and help you see the disconnects, so you can set the framework for change. Draw out your process, use arrows and symbols to help you see the big picture. If you need more ideas of visualisation, look up Tom Wujec’s TED Talk; Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast. You can watch the TED Talk here: www.bit.ly/3uwFRFT
  51. 51. 3. Narrow Down Concerns: Don’t forget that the process of mapping out tasks, is not only to figure out how they flow, but it is also to spot where they can be improved. The first two steps will help you see a clear picture of things that are being missed, or where things aren’t going according to plan. Document the challenges so you can come back to them when you are rethinking your processes and approaches Once you’ve listed your existing process documentation and where your gaps are, the next step is to see where you can build a better process. Making a New or Improved Process a Success Creating new processes is solving problems that will have an impact on both your business and on your teams’ daily lives - and it will help new starters understand what they need to do in different situations without any room for misinterpretation. When creating a new process or rethinking an existing one, ask your team candid questions. Why is this roadblock occurring? Is there anything they need in order to do their jobs well that they’re not currently getting? Dig into each process and learn from your team. It can be daunting mapping out the new process but starting from the goal and working your way backwards is actually the smartest approach. Think about what you must do in order to achieve your goal and work your way through every step until you reach the starting point. If your process seems overly complicated, look at where you can cut out steps. Look at parts of the process that are merely done, because it has always been done this way, and keep an eye out for steps which involve too many hands that slow the process. Ask yourself if there is a better way that things can be done? Are you doing things the most efficient and effective way? The most important step of making the new process a success - make sure you communicate it with your team and offer training to ensure everyone is on the same page. PROCESS VERSION 1.0 PROCESS VERSION 2.0 PROCESS VERSION 3.0 PROCESS VERSION 4.0 PROCESS VERSION 5.0
  52. 52. 55 SYSTEMS FOR SUCCESS When was the last time you reviewed your processes? From HR to finance and customer service, all areas of the business have at least one process where you can benefit from identifying the most efficient way of working. Involve your team in defining the processes - after all, they are the ones who know what they’re doing on a daily basis. This will create ownership and accountability. Are your processes long and overly complicated? Think about where you can cut out steps to make it simpler and less time consuming. Notable Nibbles
  53. 53. Bite 8: All Systems Go Technology can make life a lot easier, and not just when you’re out and about, but in a professional setting, too. When it comes to your business, finding suitable technology is not something that should be glossed over or left until the last minute. In fact, having the right systems in place can massively increase productivity and, as a result, profitability. Nowadays, there are various different systems that allow you to automate your business, freeing up a lot more time and resources.
  54. 54. 57 SYSTEMS FOR SUCCESS How Can Systems Maximise the Efficiency of Your Business? In order to surpass your potential, it’s important to consider the processes in your business. More than likely, there is a system in place to optimise workflow. Communication With more and more businesses adhering to a flexible working schedule, systems that help your team communicate outside of the office are vital. While emails are great, it’s easy for them to get lost in the shuffle, especially if the message you are conveying is quick and urgent. There are many different types of technology that allow you to instantly message the person you need or set up groups related to specific tasks. Utilising such technology will allow your team to communicate their issues or queries more freely, and thus result in an increase in productivity. Give these systems a go: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Google Hangouts Remember: If you are using systems outside of the office, be mindful to limit your communication to your office hours. M any of your team may have them downloaded on their phones so it’s important to set boundaries.
  55. 55. HR & Admin Timesheets Timesheets are an invaluable tool when it comes to your business, and they have many uses. What can we use a timesheet system for? Tracking expenditure on a client Tracking time spent on a project and seeing what projects need more attention Noticing indiscrepancies Passing information onto payroll Give these systems a go: Harvest, Clockify and Deputy Holiday Booking It’s vital that your employees have some downtime in order to feel refreshed and recuperate, so it’s important that the manner in which they book time off is just as easy for you as it is for them. Rather than sending countless emails, having to check over schedules, or even collecting and storing tons of paperwork, there are plenty of systems that can be put in place to save time, energy, and resources. Many systems allow the person booking time off to view who already has holiday booked and easily put a request in with the right person. Give these systems a go: Whos Off, Quickbooks and Timetastic
  56. 56. 59 SYSTEMS FOR SUCCESS Hiring & Onboarding When growing your business, hiring will naturally become a vital part of day- to-day work and of course, with this, there are many things to consider. In order for you to not only ensure you are utilising your time, but also get the best out of your job search, there is software available that can track applications, post jobs, screen CVs and post job descriptions on social platforms. Once you’ve hired the right candidate, you can also use these systems to electronically send contracts and employee handbooks, ready for the new member to join the team! Give these systems a go: Freshteam and Personio Finance Payslips Having software that will enable your employees to view their payslips will be just as beneficial to you as it will to them; it will save time on filing, allow both parties somewhere to quickly locate and view their payslips and limit issues regarding payroll down the line. Give these systems a go: Quickbooks, Sage and PayDashboard
  57. 57. Company Expenditure Keeping on top of expenses can be a daunting task, and without a proper system in place, you may find sums of money disappearing or going unaccounted for. Small receipts can often get lost, and people may forget what money was spent on what; these are things that can have a knock-on effect on your business and land you in trouble in the long run. There are many systems in place that you can utilise in order to track expenses, free up more time and resources and reduce issues. Give these systems a go: Expensify, Quickbooks, Zoho Expense and Xero Every business is different, so it’s important to think about what type of company you run and its specific needs. Chances are, there will be an automated system you can use to help reduce unnecessary work and increase efficiency and productivity.
  58. 58. 61 SYSTEMS FOR SUCCESS What aspects of your business can you automate to allow more time and resources elsewhere? Technology and computer systems can greatly enhance productivity and efficiency within your business. There is a system for everything. Find the aspects within your business that could benefit from automation. Consider the processes within your business that may be slow, time-consuming, and outdated. Putting money into systems is a small investment. It will ultimately save you money, time, and resources in the long run, especially when you scale-up your business. Notable Nibbles
  59. 59. Bite 9: Maximise Meetings Let’s be honest, no one wants to be stuck in a meeting only to come out an hour later, either wondering why they were there in the first place or thinking, ‘this could have been sent in an email.’ Meetings often get a bad rap, but this needn’t be the case. Held properly, a meeting can transform the business and help strengthen the efficiency of your business. So, how do you make sure that you are using your time wisely when arranging a meeting? Why Are We Having This Meeting? First and foremost, consider why the meeting is taking place. Set an agenda of what you want to discuss in the meeting; not only will this create structure and a sense of purpose; it will help decipher whether the meeting is needed. The agenda doesn’t necessarily need to be in-depth, as long as it covers all points you want to discuss. Be sure to create the agenda ahead of time, send it out beforehand and give attendees plenty of time to read it and come up with their own thoughts and suggestions.
  60. 60. 63 SYSTEMS FOR SUCCESS If there is not much that needs discussing, consider communicating the information through email or chat instead. Not only will this save your time, but that of the attendees, too Who’s Running the Meeting? Before you set up a meeting, consider who is going to run it. There’s nothing worse than awkwardly sitting in a meeting for 15 minutes before someone steps up as the host. Not only is this a waste of everyone’s time, but it will prevent the meeting from being communicated efficiently. Why Am I here? With your agenda in place, think about the attendees. You may have a set list of employees who regularly attend the meeting, so it’s perhaps easy to send out an invite to the same people but take a minute to step back and consider if they all need to be there. The meeting may not always be relevant to everyone and so there’s no sense in wasting time and resources when it’s not necessary. Additionally, consider what information is being relayed to who at what time. If there’s multiple topics that need to be discussed and only some, not all are applicable to certain attendees, consider having them leave the meeting once the relevant topic has been discussed. Again, this will enable your business to maximise its productivity. What Was That Meeting About? The last thing you want is to put time and energy into a meeting, only for attendees to forget what was discussed 15 minutes later. In order to prevent this, there’s a few things to think about: Assign a designated notetaker beforehand. This way, you will be able to send across minutes through email once the meeting is over. Don’t overdo it. It’s likely that a long meeting will cause attention spans to drop, so ensure that you get all the necessary information out in the most efficient way possible. This will also free up more time for other work and tasks.
  61. 61. What Am I Doing? To prevent attendees leaving a meeting unsure of their next move, ensure everything is communicated efficiently. Having a clear and precise plan is vital in order to help you decipher the needs of each individual. So, what should you think about? Task: Do all attendees have their own task that they need to complete or work towards? Are they aware of what that is? Purpose: Do they know the end goal for their individual tasks? What are they working towards? What is the purpose of the task? Timeline: Has the timeline of a task or project been communicated effectively? Do all attendees know the deadlines and when they need to complete a project? Meetings can be a great tool so long as they are used effectively. Ensuring all attendees have everything they need before, during and after the meeting will massively increase free time as well as productivity, and, ultimately, will facilitate the growth of your business. Effective Meetings for Effective Managers In a world where technology is king, data to suggest that business meetings are slowly being considered as a bad use of effective working time. It has also shown that there is a difference of interest between the ages and that people under the age of 34 are more likely to think that meetings are in fact productive as opposed to their elder counterparts. Perhaps there is a formula to creating effective meetings, giving individuals the opportunity to review goals and implementing actions. Regular meetings are vital to unlock issues, challenges, and to remain updated with action. With regular meetings, managers can address key points and issues, eliminating the possibility of them worsening over time.
  62. 62. 65 SYSTEMS FOR SUCCESS Weekly Meetings These are essential to make sure that the day-to-day work is moving in the direction. This will put the team on track to achieve monthly and quarterly goals as well as to assess what actions may need to be changed to work towards the end goal. Weekly meetings can be held in several ways, below are some techniques for effective weekly meetings. Team Meetings Meetings with the team can be facilitated by the manager and a simple colour coding system can be used, prepared by members of the team before the meeting. Colour coding is also useful for the self-assessment of goals so that the manager can have a bird’s-eye-view on where the team’s progress is towards achieving a goal. On track. All timelines are met and achieving the end goal is expected. Experiencing some delay, however, there’s a plan in place so it can be corrected. Deadlines will not be met, and adjustments need to be implemented. These can be timing or putting a plan in place for extra resources to meet the desired goal. Individual Meetings It is good to have weekly meetings with individuals of the team in order to be an effective manager. The purpose of these is to check in and talk about the progress being made to achieve their goals. Effective managers can facilitate the one-to-one meeting by looking at an action plan with a deadline in mind. Both the manager and individual can work backwards from the deadline, creating tasks and plans. This will clarify specific items which need to get done in order for the end goal to be achieved. There are several benefits both to the manager and the individual that come with having an action plan. The manager can clearly see and assess how the end goal will be achieved and the individual will know exactly how to work in order to put the plan in place. Green Yellow Red
  63. 63. Other benefits of the action plan can include: Clarity about the actions that need to be taken to achieve a desired outcome and both parties understanding each other. Objectives and processes are clear including time management and the individual knowing what to do in terms of priorities. Preparation and planning can be clearly seen which takes into account any changes i.e., annual leave. Monthly Meetings Effective managers can also facilitate a monthly team meeting to review progress as an additional supplement to the weekly team and individual meeting. It’s vital to check in monthly as adjustments can be made to the priorities. Action plans can also be put in place to make sure that the team is on track towards achieving the end goal. The meeting can review the financial goals and make sure that adjustments are made in order to achieve the quarterly goal. Quarterly Meetings These are longer meetings, typically lasting a day, which assess the progress of the overall business goals. It will review the results of the previous quarter and investigate the long-term goals set by the business, such as one-year or three-year goals. Priorities can also be discussed and then funnelled through discussing the priorities of the overall business. This allows the team members to start thinking about their new action plan in relation to the new priorities as set out within the quarterly meeting. Alongside quarterly meetings strategic thinking and execution planning meetings will have taken place by senior management in order to determine the business’ ten-year, three-year, and one-year goal. When these goals are already set in place, the quarterly meeting is used to ensure that progress is being made to meet these goals. Meetings can be a great tool as long as they are used effectively. Ensuring all attendees have everything they need before, during and after the meeting will massively increase free time as well as productivity, and ultimately, will facilitate the growth of your business.
  64. 64. 67 SYSTEMS FOR SUCCESS Think about the meetings you already have in place. Are there any you can get rid of? Make sure you are using the time wisely and have clear goals for the meeting. Ensure every meeting has a purpose. Sending out an agenda prior to the meeting will help make sure of this. Assign a notetaker who can feedback the notes after the meeting. Only invite those to the meeting that will benefit from it, there’s no sense in wasting time unnecessarily. Notable Nibbles Audacious and Long-Term Goal Usually achieve by ton or more. Three-Year Goal Goals to be achieved by three years in order to achieve the overall ten-year goal. Priorities (usually three to five) are set out to achieve this. One-Year Goal Priorities to be determined to achieve goals within one year. Weekly Team and individual Meetings Used to look at progress towards quarterly goals and individual action plans. Quarterly Meeting Priorities to be determined to achieve goals within one year. Individual and 90-Day Plans Set out in order to plan specific actions and to look at target metrics. The Goal-Setting Flow Can Be Seen Below:
  65. 65. 69 THE POWER OF PEOPLE 03 The Power of People You are only as good as your team. In this chapter we will look at your team, your peers and advisors, your board, and strategic alliances and partnerships - and how to make the most of them to help you towards your goal. Start by building your power team - think about who you need on your team and on your board of directors to make sure that all knowledge and skills gaps are covered. This is a chance for you to think strategically too as you will need certain capabilities as you scale your business. Use coaching, mentoring and mastermind sessions to ensure that your team excels and that they deliver to their full potential. With a shared vision you can lift the burden together.
  66. 66. Bite 10: Build Your Power Team We are not a team because we work together, we are a team because we make each other better. To successfully scale up and exit your business, you need to surround yourself with people who possess all the strengths needed to achieve your mission. Consider where you need to be and the type of team members, you’ll need to get there - this can both be internal employees and external advisors and mentors. Most importantly, what key competencies and attributes will your power team need to have? Make Your Power Team the Solution to Your Weaknesses As we discussed in bite four, understanding your weaknesses is a powerful tool. Not only will you have identified where you need to improve personally, you have also recognised where you might be able to make some strategic decisions regarding your team, that will help fill the skills gaps.

×