Welcome to the Growth Zone
You are in business. You made it! You won your first clients! You earned your first money! Maybe even a lot of money! But as time goes by you realize: You cannot clone yourself. You have so many ideas that you want to implement. But your day has just 24 hours. You can’t put in more time than you are already doing. But how to keep up the growth pace?
First of all: Welcome to the Growth Zone!
What you are experiencing is a very common problem for the overachievers and the people with big visions. I want to congratulate you for everything you have already achieved! You did a great job so far!
But now comes the tricky part: How to keep the pace? How to keep growing and grow further?
The situation you are in is a big dilemma for you. You are successful. Admitting that you need help puts you in a very vulnerable space. Nobody wants to admit that help is needed. But you need to understand that you are not alone!
What to do when your business overtakes you?
The first thing you need to do, is to define a growth target: Where do you want to get to and by when? Then evaluate: Where are you today? Based on these parameters, you start thinking about ways to reach your goal. You define your growth strategy. How many more clients do you need to win? Do you need to create new products? Expand to new markets? Increase your advertising?
When you know what to do, the first action you can take is to look at your personal productivity: Are you really productive? Or are you wasting a lot of time on social media? Spending time with people that don`t add any value to your business? How much time do you spend on activities? Do you track them at all? Do you focus on the right topics? Do you measure your success rate?
Once you exhausted your own productivity, you need to start building a team. You can get really far on your own but at a certain point in time, you will need a team! There is no such thing like a self-made millionaire. Every successful people in this world had support in one way or another.
When looking for team members, it is essential to consider two major criteria:
- What kind of tasks do you want to hand over and what skillset is required to complete it successfully?
- What values do you represent and want to see in your staff?
Knowing what kind of tasks you want to hand over, defines what type of person you are looking for. Shall the person do administrative work for you? Help you with the financials? Organize your schedule? Then they need to like details, excel sheets and other office work. Do you rather look for somebody helping you in sales or networking? Somebody for marketing? Somebody, to write copy? That is an entirely different profile, right?
The second criteria for selecting the right people is essential for your company culture. You need to find somebody that complements your skill set (that means: Don`t hire your personal mini-me!). But at the same time, you need to set the tone for how the company culture shall be in the future. Usually, your first hire will set the tone. If that hire complies with your basic values and agrees to your culture, then they will also have a strong impact on any other hires joining the team.
One very common mistake I see in hiring is that people look for somebody that can start working right away! Let me be very blunt: Even if you find somebody with the right skillset that matches your values, you will have to invest some work to onboard them! This is crucial for your long-term success! Consider it as an investment in your company! If you leave new hires alone too often and let them figure out everything by themselves, you will waste a lot of time, be frustrated very fast and the new hire will not stay for long. You must give guidance to your employees! Involve them in key decisions, assign responsibility to complete smaller projects by themselves, and communicate your expectations clearly.
If you have not done this yet, document your processes! How do you work today? What do you look for? What points to you consider when making decisions? If you can document it, you can hand it over to somebody. Start with small packages, check in regularly and once the operational engine works smoothly, you can focus on the strategic tasks again and let your team handle the rest.
Once the first hire is onboarded efficiently, you can duplicate the process until you reach the next growth phase which is your first re-organization. But that is a topic for another day.