SCORE Small Business Blog

Growing: Taking Your Business to the Next Level…

Learn Where to Start Your Growth

Yesterday I had a meeting with a woman who started a small business several years ago, which has grown into a successful and thriving consulting practice. (Let’s call my acquaintance ‘Christine.’) Christine’s now at the place where she wants to grow her business- i.e, taking ‘it’ to the next level where she doesn’t have to manage the day-to-day tasks and remain the hub for every single decision that’s made. Her biggest uncertainty was “Where do I even begin? I’m working long hours and don’t have enough revenue to hire more staff. How is it possible… without winning the lottery?” In my opinion, this is a classic startup entrepreneur question. “How can I differentiate between starting the business and becoming the business? Have you asked this before?

In terms of growing, Christine’s stuck in the weeds. She’s unable to think about putting a plan in place where she’ll be able to focus on higher value activities to substantially grow her business (sorry, doing quickbooks at the end of the month doesn’t count as a “high value activity that pushes growth”) There are 3 suggestions that I have to help you think about your game plan to grow your business:

  1. 1 year plan- Put a 12 month plan in place that highlights the key activities that you’ll need to do to achieve your growth targets. Include due dates and make them visible to you and key stakeholders and advisors. This way, you’ll be more likely to actually achieve them.
  2. Resources- Determine what resources you’ll need to help get you there. Generally, it will be a little cash and additional staff. Now that you’ve identified the key activities that you’ll need to accomplish, determine who’s going to help you get there- a right hand man (or woman)? a sales person? A web development team? Now, think about if you’ll need additional capital to help fund that growth and where it can come from…whether it’s a line of credit, an SBA loan, or an investment from friends and family. Perhaps you’ll need a big chunk of capital, say $250k or more. You might want to tap into Angel investors, who might be willing to invest in your business. Here’s a database of angel investors.
  3. Get advisors/mentors- I’ve been ‘saved’ so many times over my career by seasoned and successful professionals who have provided me with sage guidance. Advisors and mentors can help you stay on track, find new opportunities and introduce you to resources that can help you achieve your objectives.

The goal is to get you to work ‘on’ your business and not ‘in’ your business. This means that you’ll be working on overall strategy and high level leadership and executive decisions, rather than focusing on low level (but necessary) tasks like end-of-the-month accounting, running out to buy toilet paper for the office bathroom, or acting as the receptionist. These latter tasks all take away from your ability to focus ‘on’ the business and should be effectively delegated. Read Michael Gerber’s book E-Myth for a truly practical approach for taking your business to the next level. This book helped me think about how to better manage my energy, time and money to grow my business.

Bryan JaneczkoFounder, Wicked Start
Bryan has successfully launched multiple startups. His latest venture, Wicked Start, provides tools to plan, fund, and launch a new business. Also author of WickedStart: Guide to Starting a New Venture with Passion and Purpose, Bryan is committed to helping small businesses grow and succeed. | Facebook | @WickedStart | LinkedIn | More from Bryan

// |

Leave a Comment

More Blog Topics