Most businesses after a period of growth just hit a plateau, or that proverbial glass ceiling and the business owners struggle with trying to figure out why.
You haven't really changed anything, you've gone through this significant growth period, and now, sales are flat or maybe declining a bit. You're frustrated. You're discouraged, You're scratching your head wondering "What's going on? Why can I continue to maintain this growth trajectory?"
What you don't realize is that you haven't properly prepared your organization to scale.
What I mean by that is you haven't put systems, processes, procedures, disciplines, and structures in place to enable the organization to prepare for growth. Yes, you might have this in place, but what have don’t realize as a business guru, Marshal Goldsmith says, “What got you here, won’t get you there”. You’ve outgrown the initial systems you put in place.
What's happened is that as the organization has grown, the business owner and the business have reached capacity. They're unable to do anything more because they're already working 60, 70, or 80 hours a week, and they just physically can't take on any more projects.
The business owner has their hand involved in every aspect of the business. They're making all decisions within the business. And like I said, they've reached capacity. They can't do anything more.
So the ball starts to drop. Customer service starts to decline. They are not able to take on new clients because the owner doesn't have the time for those meetings. And so, the business plateaus, or worst case, the business starts to decline as those customer service levels are decreasing.
So, how do you avoid this? Ideally, while the business is still small and the owner has time, you should be putting systems, processes, and procedures in place to enable the organization to run more efficiently and effectively and give it the ability to scale up.
To prepare the organization to scale as the business grows, the systems, processes, and procedures, make the organization run more efficiently and effectively. So what does that look like things like?
Have a vision that provides a clear articulation and picture of what the purpose of the organization is. Have an organization chart of what does the company looks like when it's done. Have job descriptions to outline roles and responsibilities for all positions within the organization.
Have clear goals in place of what the organization is moving to achieve this year, this quarter this month, this week. Have performance indicators for all roles within the organization, outlining the key activities that need to happen on a weekly basis to ensure that you're able to get those goals.
Having an onboarding process in place, having the recruiting process in place, having all functions within the organization, laid out in terms of how-to manuals or videos and processes, written out. This then allows everybody to be able to refer to those manuals and videos so that as you train employees and they forget, they're able to refer to that process to be able to do their job more efficiently and effectively without your assistance.
Ultimately, we want to set your employees up for success, so that you as a business owner, don't need to be involved in everything. Even having a management and overall management structure in place, where you're meeting with your employees on a weekly or biweekly basis to check-in and make sure that they are delivering on your expectations; that they are hitting their key performance indicators; that they are hitting their goals. When you put these systems and processes in place, you prepare your organization to scale.
And you should be doing this proactively while you, as the business owner, have the time, so that when the business does start to see significant growth, you're already set up for success.
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