Separating Yourself From The Start-up Pack
By Andy Bailey
Many of America’s favorite companies began as a small start-up.
Ben & Jerry’s sold ice cream out of an old gas station when they first opened in 1979. Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his college dorm room. Starbucks started with just one location in Seattle, Washington.
The ability to scale up is a defining trait among businesses that want to move ahead of the start-up pack. To do that, companies must learn how to lose the start-up mentality and focus on a few key areas.
Building A Great Team
Nancy McCord, chief talent officer at Netflix, said, “The best thing you can do for employees – a perk better than foosball or free sushi – is hire only ‘A’ players to work alongside them.”
Top talent likes to work with other top talent. Create a culture where team members challenge each other, learn together and propel the company forward. If your top talent is too busy managing disengaged, subpar workers, the work will get old very quickly. No one wants to go to work and babysit fellow team members.
To create a team of top-tier talent, focus your energy on engaging current members and improving the hiring process. Create a company scorecard for job candidates. Outline the type of person who excels in the position and the character traits they must possess. If an applicant doesn’t meet the criteria, politely decline to pursue them further.
Choosing The Right Strategy
Your company’s strategy is the roadmap that tells you how to get from where you are to where you want to be. It’s the defined path that your start-up will take in order to grow and become a leader in your industry. You should live, breathe and make decisions based on this strategy.
This requires more than just vague goal-setting. What matters most to your organization? What’s your mission? All of these should be taken into consideration before you pick a strategy. Once this strategy is established, your senior leadership should meet weekly to discuss its progress.
Include your entire team in the execution of the strategy and educate them on the “why” behind it. Each employee should have a solid knowledge of the company values, foundation and proposed direction of the company. This transparency will also aid in retaining the top talent you worked hard to recruit.
Improving Your Cash Flow
Your cash conversion cycle (CCC), or the amount of time it takes for a dollar spent to make its way back into your bank account, is one of the most important metrics to watch while scaling your business up. Growth requires money, and the faster you scale up, the more money you need. Learn how cash flows through your organization.
Scaling up is possible, but it takes focus and dedication to these three areas. Every industry-leading company started somewhere, and there’s no reason why your organization can’t be next.
Andy Bailey can cut through organizational BS faster than a hot knife through butter, showing organizations the logjams thwarting their success and coaching them past the excuses. After all, as he tells his clients, 100% annual growth is only 2% growth every week. It’s not easy. But possible.Andy learned how to build great organizations by building a great business, which he started in college then, grew into an Inc. 500 multi-million dollar national company that he successfully sold and exited. He founded Petra to pass on to other entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders the principles and practices he used to build his successful enterprise, which are rooted in the Rockefeller Habits methodology.