How to Effectively Grow and Scale Your Small Business. Entrepreneur MBA Podcast 2.12
Summary: Most small businesses at one point or another want to consider how they can improve their scalability. So often after businesses get successful, they lose focus on their key attributes that make them different than competitors.
In today’s podcast episode Stephen Halasnik and Ron Carucci discuss how to take a deeper look at your business and reevaluate it, in order to make the proper changes. Identifying what makes a business unique is going to allow for better utilization of resources, improve time management, aid in better leadership, and utilize technologies to help scale your business as a whole.
Figure Out What Makes You Different
Who are you, why are you here, what sets you apart from your competition? Maybe it’s your service, quality, or innovation, price, or accessibility. These are the question that you need to ask yourself in order to thrive and succeed in a competitive industry. Figure out what makes your small business different and unique. This tip is not just for big business and can be applied to small businesses too. Know that this is not your vision or mission statement, nor is it your values. Assess your decision making, who you are hiring, your business model, and marketing strategies. Once you are able to reevaluate your business through a strategic lens, you are going to increase your growth and scalability by improving your resource delegation and decision-making.
What can help is writing down your business strategy, identity, and critical objectives. You should be able to fit this on one page, and never dilute it out. This is going to help you stay on track, stay focussed, and being able to articulate your skillset.
Too often small businesses focus on the bare minimum to keep a business going, and neglect to separate the three mains types of work that needs to be done within a business. There are three types of work which are competitive work, competitive enabling work, and necessary work. Ron Carucci says that your competitive work is the work that sets you apart. This is your secret sauce/business strategy and takes up a small percent of work. Your competitive enabling work is the work put in that ensures your competitive work is going to be effective, in other words how you organize the work (analytics/metrics, customer engagement, responsiveness, marketing, etc). Lastly, you have your necessary work which is the basic work you do in order to “keep the lights on.” Small business owners that are able to differentiate between these types of work will help avoid putting them all in a box together, which reduced your scalability.
Take Action to Scale Up Your Small Business
First, make sure you understand what scaling really means. Do you understand how to organize your work and repeat it? Can you create repeatability, efficiencies with technology, and create standards and lead your business? How ready to grow is your business? These are the questions you want to ask yourself to identify how scalable your business truly can be. From here, you can create an environment that is going to allow employees to feel important. As a business owner, being an effective company leader is going to enable your employees to carry out duties how you would want to do them.
A major theme is being able to work on your business, not working in your business. A lot of small business owners tend to put too much time into being a team member, instead of a team leader. For example, having a marketing team and generating new clients should be a duty of your employees and not your job to spend too much time on it. Instead, work on the outside duties and overarching duties of the company. This will also ensure for a more efficient workflow, which in the end can generate leads and create a stronger business plan. Maybe something that you might want to consider is outsourcing members to help with specific duties. Simply being able to refocus your time and energy into new places can help bring your small business to the next level, and allow you to see the big picture.
Once you figure out your key differentiators and know how to separate your work types, then you can really take a step back and ask yourself if what you are currently doing aligns with what you are. When you find gaps in the business (resources, people, product, etc.), you can figure out how to close those gaps. A key part of this is figuring out why your customers truly choose you over the other competitors. Take the time to step outside and look in from an outsider’s perspective. Maybe you think you know what this is, but you would be surprised to possibly find out it could be something else. Listen to your customers and what they have to say, and this will make the process much easier. From here, you will be able to better target your niche market, develop new products, reach new customers, and even give you a competitive edge over other companies.
This can lead to improved content marketing and social media. Lots of marketers focus on paid ads, however with a better understanding of your market, you can focus on improving your ad content.
Lastly, you may want to take some time to look at the new technologies on the market that are going to help improve efficiency. For example, browsing the market for automation systems that analyze CRM, shipping, sales management, inventory, manufacturing, etc are all tools that can quickly scale your business. Newer technologies that are on the market can really help identify and improve key steps in your sales funnel, and also enable growth through bootstrapping. Being able to use the right tools and technologies can help you by making data-driven decisions
Improving scalability isn’t a process that is going to happen overnight. This process is going to require deep thought, reflection, and analytical skills to make improvements. At the end of the day, knowing your company and what makes you different than all other competitors is going to already get you ahead. Once you figure that out, you can look deeper within leadership and the three types of work discussed by Ron Carucci. Being able to have a strong internal team is going to allow your company to hone in on your strengths, and improve areas that are not doing so well. Sometimes this process can be done alone, but quite frequently small businesses outsource companies to help make suggestions for improving scalability.
About the Guest Ron Carucci, Navalent
Ron Carucci is a bestselling author and has written 8 books. He is co-founder and managing partner at Navalent, which works with CEOs and executives pursuing transformational change. He has a thirty-year track record helping some of the world’s most influential executives tackle challenges of strategy, organization, and leadership. From start-ups to Fortune 10’s, turnarounds to new markets strategies, overhauling leadership, and culture to re-designing for growth, Ron has worked in more than 25 countries on 4 continents. In addition to being a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes, Ron has been featured in Fortune, CEO Magazine, BusinessInsider, MSNBC, Inc, Business Week, Smart Business, and many others.
Ron’s Forthcoming book, due out in 2021, is titled “To Be Honest: Lead with the Power of Truth, Justice and Purpose”.
About The Host Stephen Halasnik, Financing Solutions
Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, The Entrepreneur MBA Podcast. The Entrepreneur MBA podcast’s purpose is to help small businesses get over the $10 million per year in revenue mark. Mr. Halasnik is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions. Financing Solutions is a leading provider of Lines of Credit to small businesses and nonprofits
Mr. Halasnik is a graduate of Rutgers University and has an Executive Masters from the MIT Birthing of Giants Entrepreneurship program.Mr. Halasnik has started and built 6 companies over 25+ years with 2 of those businesses making the Inc 500/5000 fastest growing list. Mr. Halasnik is a best selling Amazon author on business and regularly tweets about his ideas about growing a business. You can also find Mr. Halasnik on youtube talking about Entrepreneurship.
Mr. Halasnik loves small business. He lives in New Jersey with his best friend, his wife Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men.
About Financing Solutions
Financing Solutions small business financing product is a great alternative to a traditional bank line of credit because it costs nothing to set up, nothing until used, and when used, is inexpensive. The credit line requires no collateral and no personal guarantees.
Small businesses use their line of credit to help with emergencies or opportunities when cash flow is temporarily down (i.e. Payroll funding)
Please feel free to fill out the no-obligation, 2-minute business line of credit application here.The time to set up a credit line is when you don’t need it so that it is ready to be used, just in case.
Note: Financing Solutions donates 10% of its profits to various nonprofit charities