Tired of wondering if your idea can scale and make the impact you envision? Ready to scale your business to serve millions and make millions? Is your singular goal to build profitable products and grow to the next level without feeling like you are sacrificing what’s most meaningful in your life?
The truth is most businesses plateau at six figures. In the startup space, this is essentially market validation. It’s commonly called the 6-figure ceiling, where you have a proven product and marketing process and you’re leveraging more technology and systems in your operations. BUT you realize that in order to scale past the mid-six figures and make your billion-dollar vision a reality, you’ll need to change the way you’ve been doing things.
During my 10+ years of working with business leaders and executives at multi-million dollar companies, as well as established startup founders, I know the ones who seamlessly navigate growth stages with calm confidence have key principles in common:
They leverage proven strategic frameworks
Their systems are adaptable and sustainable
They have a team that supports their vision
And they have an unshakeable mindset, which enables them to operate a high-performance organization
While the specifics vary, these principles need to be present to run your business profitably and sustainably. Adopting these seven principles will allow you to worry less about the latest social media fad and quick cashflow tactics, and instead focus on key methods and metrics that deliver continuous growth.
1. Cultivate A Scientific Mindset
The biggest prerequisite is the belief that your success is inevitable -- AND making a commitment to do what it takes to get your great work into the world and serve your clients at the highest level.
While most people think of success as a direct line, the best companies and leaders know it requires a series of iterations. They take a scientific approach that includes a robust test and learn framework, and ensures improvements are incorporated with every iteration.
They keep a clear target in mind while they navigate through each stage and phase of growth.
2. Ensure Operational Alignment
As a leader, your biggest role is setting a vision and empowering others to take ownership of delivering their best work. You need to be focused on creating a context for sustainable growth.
Most entrepreneurs are good at working in their business, delivering a product or service, and can get some preliminary marketing tactics to work, so they hit six-figures. The first signs of growing pains usually begin with an operational nightmare. Critical balls get dropped. Negative customer experiences crop up. A theme of stress and overwhelm creep in as they try to control the chaos and hold onto disengaged employees and contractors, for fear of making too many changes at once.
Business owners who are able to scale and manage chaos with calm confidence, on the other hand, ensure they have strategic and operational alignment. This might mean ensuring you’re prepared for an increase in marketing activity by allocating resources toward service delivery and customer care. This is usually the first area I look at with clients who are ready to scale without dropping critical balls or burning out.
3. Hire and Enable an All-Star Team
In the beginning of your business, it is great to have worker-bees who you can tell what to do and they execute. Just having an extra pair of hands is good enough to get going.
However, as you grow, you will quickly become the bottleneck if your team is constantly waiting for you to make decisions and tell them what to do. While a high-level of feedback is sometimes necessary, having a team of rock star players who can come to know your business philosophy and approach - so you can essentially be removed from the executional phases of daily tasks - should be your aim.
This is what it means to hire people who can take ownership and deliver results. Your role and that of the business’s operations procedures is to empower people to do the work you hire them to do, not to micromanage. It starts with hiring people who can think critically and make decisions within the context of your business culture.
One key step in this process is to set key metrics and success factors for each activity and role. This ensures that the business vision is clearly articulated and modeled. While perfection is one ideal, excellence is the true goal here.
4. Focus Less on Marketing and More on Customers
Almost every business owner I talk to wants more or better marketing. They think this is the key to growth and scale. The truth is the biggest and best companies, the ones high on the Fortune 500 list, are focused on and developing their current customer relationships.
They know this is essential to growing acquisition through word of mouth and continued sales from repeat purchases. This is the reason customer relationship management (CRM) tools, such as Salesforce, as well as loyalty and incentive marketing tactics are two of the most utilized tools in big business.
This principle requires you, as the business leader, to focus more on how to service and sustain customer relationships, than on growing a new customer base. This one principle not only ensures profitability, it delivers sustainability.
5. Know Your Numbers
You may have heard of the popular concept “what gets measured gets done.” The fact is it not only gets done, it gets done better, if you have the right criteria in place.
Most new business owners are busy thinking about how to acquire new customers. When you are ready to scale growth, there are actually only five essential growth levers that you need to focus on. When I teach these to my clients, it ensures all their business operations around sales, marketing, product and financial management are clear, and aligns their team to FOCUS on delivering and exceeding metrics that matter to profitable growth.
6. Engage Like-Minded Partners
One of the key aspects of ensuring profitable growth and sustainability is investing in authentic relationships. All my high-achieving clients leverage their unique leadership advantage (their personal brand) with the business attributes that differentiates them in the marketplace to build a culture and movement the inspire others to support their mission and goals.
The idea of the solopreneur at high six- or seven-figures is a myth. One person might be the face of the brand, but behind every successful entrepreneur and business is a team of fans, supporters, partners and collaborators who love and support the growth of their business. This is why relationships are the lifeblood of your business. To audit yourself in this area, consider whether you make the time to cultivate meaningful relationships and add value to like-minded partners and collaborators. While your competitors are only thinking about Facebook ads and changing algorithms, your key to growth and scale will be doing what matters and building relationships that ensure sustainability and scale.
7. Simplify to Amplify
The truth is we are all multi-passionate and multi-dimensional. But sharing ALL of who we are to everyone all the time makes us seem irrational and disjointed.
Being able to build a brand that is known for something, build a team that is focused and fiercely supporting your vision, and developing partnerships that scale and grow require that you simplify by focusing in on the right things at the right time. It requires the right amount of seduction and persuasion that can only come from an authentic connection to who you are and how you want to be known. This is your brand DNA.
Becoming clear on your brand DNA and letting that guide everything from operations to culture, from customer experience to partnerships, is a specialization that most coaches and consultants overlook.
I help clients get this right at the beginning of our engagement. It sets the tone for all the great work we do together.
Are you ready to learn how you too can incorporate these principles in your business? Time to level up from six- to seven-figure sustainable growth?
Watch this training video, if it resonates book a private call so we can build your 7-figure roadmap together. I am here for you.