In recent weeks, I had the pleasure of interviewing a small business owner who’s on an absolutely incredible and ambitious journey. Though the owner wishes to remain anonymous due to certain sensitivities, I am sharing select details from our hour-long session to inspire hope, confidence, and clarity about your future.
In 2017, having already built a relatively large and successful business, and after a period of deep personal reflection and planning, the ambitious business owner took the initial bold steps aimed to increase the size of the business from $12m to $50m over 8 years – representing an average annual growth rate of about 18%. His long-term vision was underpinned by strong values centered on service to others and a strategic foundation built on: innovation, organic growth, and growth through acquisition. Included in his plan was the need to hire a President with prior experience leading and building high-performance businesses and teams while possessing the ability to assume responsibility for day-to-day business operations on day #1. Successful implementation of the plan would allow the owner to shed a few hats, and transition to a less time-intensive but important executive leadership role with the business.
Fast forward to 2020. Approaching the mid-point of the 8 year plan, sales have increased to $36m – consistent with the plan. The business, comprised of 9 individual business unit profit centers, now employs a President, an executive level management team, and nearly 1,000 full- and part-time employees. All management-level employees are held accountable to and routinely achieve clearly-defined goals, verified by common performance metrics. The owner also appointed an impressive Board of Directors on which he serves as Chairman. As the CEO, he is working in the business less than 10 hours a month, which allows him to invest most of this time networking, and serving others through charities and advocacy groups.
The Owner’s Secrets to More Success…
In sharing limited details on his incredible story, the business owner openly offered keys to his success journey, summarized below in order of execution, virtually all of which is consistent with our teachings. It’s my belief that these keys can be proportionately scaled and applied to virtually any business, with a view to achieving consistent growth.
- Develop a Vision – Create an inspiring vision that brings clarity and motivation to your team.
- Develop a Long-Term Plan – Consistent with the Vision, prepare a 5-year plan that outlines the key objectives, strategies, and actions for achieving the outcomes of the plan.
- Accept Personal Limitations – Be vulnerable and open to change. Understand and accept your strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledge your limitations. Accept that you can’t success without help from others.
- Take Bold Actions Consistent with the Vision – The actions that you take must be proportional to and aligned with the vision that you are striving to realize.
- Get the Right People into the Right Seats – You success is almost completely dependent upon the capabilities and commitment of your team. Employ people in roles that are consistent with their skills, and only if they share your values and who have the skills and the desire necessary to take your business to the next level.
- Define Accountabilities – Define goals and performance metrics and ensure that your managers hold people accountable for achieving them.
- Take Time for Self – Invest in yourself and specifically on building the skills and abilities needed to sustain personal satisfaction.
Contact your coach to learn more about his incredible journey, and to apply these principles to your business situation.