People, Processes, and Perspective: How to Scale a Sustainable Business
No one goes into business to stay stagnant. Growth is the goal of every business owner — from small mom-and-pops to Fortune 500 companies. Rapid growth can be exciting, but a valley usually follows every peak. Mountain ranges are beautiful to look at, unless they represent the bottom line of your company. Thinking like a CEO means that sustained growth should be the modus operandi when discussing scaling your business.
But, how does someone begin to scale his or her business in a way that is sustainable? To create model of growth that will take your business to the level of sustainability it needs, your sights must be locked in on three things: hiring the right people, implementing the right processes, and keeping the right perspective.
THE RIGHT PEOPLE –
It has been said over and over again, but it is always true, you will only be as successful as the people you hire. Getting the right people in the correct seats, for themselves and for your business, is goal number one in creating sustainable growth. “You should always strive to hire an ‘A’,” says Jeff Blackman, COO and CFO of DaySmart, a company that specializes in scheduling and business management solutions. He continued on to say, “You cannot grow and scale a company without A players.”
But what is an “A Player?”
In school getting A’s meant you were smart, or at least a really hard worker. But Jeff believes it goes beyond intelligence, it’s more about the passion displayed by a person that proves their standing as an “A” or lesser letter. Passion is one of those things you can tell just from an interview. Does the person show emotion? Or, do they sit stone-faced reciting rehearsed and padded answers? Investing in these people and getting to know them will help to take your business to even higher levels.
Hiring people that, yes, are smart, but also passionate puts your business onto a trajectory toward sustainability. And, in order to think like a CEO, you must start here.
THE RIGHT PROCESSES –
When the right people are in the correct seats, the next step to building a sustainable business is to implement the right processes. But beyond just saying, “These are our processes and this is how we do things,” the processes you put into place have to be easily replicated. This allows for consistency and brings all of your passionate “A” players onto the same page as your business scales.
This is one of the major errors of young, fast growing companies, according to Jeff Blackman. He says, “without putting the right people in place, without having the right training programs in place, the right succession plans in place, you are not building the company to scale and succeed in the future.”
The rightful thought process of a CEO is to focus fiscal attention to the training of the people in your care. Too often young companies feel they cannot use this type of expense to grow their company. However, this is exactly where they need to be spending money to create replicating processes and keep scaling in the correct direction.
THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE –
Lastly, to create a business that is scaled for growth, you have to begin with the end in mind. By reverse engineering, looking always to the big picture, it allows you the opportunity to put the correct people in the correct seats and implement the right processes to get to the point you always envisioned for your business.
Beginning with where you want to be it sets the tone and direction for your company. Because if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’ve arrived? To think like a CEO means to always begin with the end, always look for the best people, and train those people in the correct processes. By doing this, your business will create a sustainable growth pattern and will scale appropriately, then you’ll be celebrating its sale with Champaign and handshakes.
In summary, Jeff Blackman teaches us that in order to Think Like a CEO, you must:
- Always strive to hire “A” players.
- Have easily replicated training practices to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Begin with the end in mind and reverse engineer your processes and procedures.
In order to think like a CEO, you must focus on your people, processes, and perspective. By keeping these in line, you’ll have a hyper-focused game plan for sustainable growth.
To hear more of my conversation with Jeff Blackman, and to start thinking like a CEO by focusing on your people, processes, and perspective, click here.