Accelerate Past Your Thresholds

Before we jump in I want to point out that these are some of the thresholds that I noticed as our company grew. Some companies will experience different resistance points; but as a rule of thumb, most businesses probably follow the normal path to growing past their thresholds.
I hope you use our experiences of trial by fire to pick the accelerated path to so that you can take your business to a different level!

0 - $250k Nose to the Grindstone

Let’s bust our tails and fly through this threshold like it never existed! 

These early stages are the hardest to apply the techniques laid out below, but if you can do it now while you are starting up, the effects down the road will be astronomical.

Accelerate your growth by following these points:

  • Identify and implement SOP’s

    • Standard procedures lets your employees easily understand your expectations as the owner.  The more visual you can make your standards the better.

  • Regularly post ads to create a pool of leads

    • Posting help wanted ads allows you to collect resumes and form a pool of talent that you can choose from when you are ready to hire.  

  • Pay attention to customer questions

    • Customer questions are going to be the fuel to your marketing fire as you grow. They ask, you answer!

  • Identify your strong suit

    • Pay attention to the jobs that you do well at and the ones you don’t. The jobs you are good at will later become your niche and calling card.

  • Always pursue sales

    • Think about sales in terms of a continual effort rather than only an activity you do when you are slow.  You need a steady stream of leads so you will always have some sales.

$250k - $500k Brute Force & Awkwardness

This can be a tough phase because you are stretched so thin and are wearing ALL the hats.  This is the time to start putting in the foundational blocks upon which your entire business will grow in the future. Remember, you are on the accelerated path and are not here to grow a traditional business! You are growing a phenomenal business that is going to provide for years to come: keep pushin, it’s go time!

  • Be transparent with your numbers.

    • Letting your employees in on the critical numbers that they ultimately control is a no brainer. If you don’t tell them they will make up their own and trust me they won’t be close to the real thing. Round your employees up and ask them how much money they think the company sells a year. It is a fun exercise!

  • Find and implement a solid drawing and cutting program.

  • Make use of outsourcing.

    • Outsourcing is a great way to grow and scale your current capacity.  Fixing your costs will allow you to grow without putting in additional capital.  

  • Be very frugal.

  • Work on your business, not just in it.

    • Start small and pick a few hours a week to better your business. Remember, the value of your business is what it does when you are not working in it.   

Grow Past Your Threshold-2


$500k - 1M The Good Ol Days

This threshold was a love/hate for me.  We were going through this phase during the recession.  Without a doubt this time period of our business is when we learned how to survive. It took a lot of pain, hard work, and grit to get through this phase. Looking back, it was the single most instrumental time in our company history that forged us into what we are today.  

If you can implement these points now you will smoke this threshold and be well through the next one before you know it.

  • Find a right hand person

    • This is a foundational step that will help you for years.  Find someone that is motivated like you are and feed that person as much responsibility as possible.  

  • Teach your people to learn processes

    • Processes are the building blocks of how you do business.  Don’t just make the process then dictate it to the employees.  Let them take part in the planning and execution and eventually they will come to you with processes that need to be changed.  

  • Hone in on your niche

    • Take the jobs you are good at and started crafting a niche and hone in.  This will be how you scale in the future.

  • Create a vision

    • A vision is the lighthouse in the distance.  A great vision is one you can probably never reach but defined enough to guide everything your company does.

  • Hire better employees

    • Don’t settle! Keep hiring until you have the right team. This takes time and more money than you are accustomed to spending but it pays off in spades from that point forward.

  • Fire yourself

    • As you truly fire yourself you make your business stronger and stronger ultimately letting it perform with or without you.


$1M - $2M What have I Done

This is a tough stage but it will be another defining moment in your growth story.  This is a time to really focus on what you are good at as a business. By this time if you have followed some of the earlier points you are working ON your business more and more each day.  Use your foundation and leverage it to hold the growth you are about to experience.

  • sBecome a beast at your ‘thing’

    • Now that you are honed in on your craft start only accepting work that fits into your new ‘box’.  It is hard to say no but it will get easier the more you do it.

  • Learn scaling not just selling

    • As you figure out how important it is to continually sell, now is a time to learn how to scale.  You have your niche so now you need to make it big. Get a website that will market your product and take your business growth to the next level.

  • Automate your administrative tasks

    • As you grow, administrative tasks seem to appear at an even faster rate. Rather than just hire an assistant, start automating these tasks now. When they get to the point you don’t have a choice, then you hire them out. Get them automated early and life will be so much easier.

  • Throughput accounting

    • Learn the basics of Theory of Constraints by reading The Goal by Eli Goldratt.  When you get some of the principles implemented start learning how to get your numbers in throughput form. Basically, it gets your numbers down to the simplest form and allows you to redefine how you look at being profitable.  

Grow Past Your Threshold-3


$2M - $5M Feed the Beast

This is the stage of growth our company is in and soon we will be through this threshold and able to write about $5M -$10M.  
I can’t wait for that!
This stage was the first time in our growth progression that sales are our bottleneck. We have capacity to burn, a phenomenal group of employees, and a shop that is ready to double in size over the next year. Jump in, the water is perfect!

  • Inbound marketing campaign

    • Hopefully by now you have already started an inbound campaign but if not DO IT NOW. Inbound is a marathon not a sprint. You are building a brand so it takes time. I can tell you from experience that it happens quicker than you think.

  • Scale your niche

    • Keep focused on the vision and figure out creative ways to scale your niche.  Keep relevant and continually engage your audience with meaningful content.

  • Don’t stray far from the vision

    • Remember that vision you set several thresholds ago?  Audit yourself regularly to make sure the company has not strayed from the vision.  

  • Enjoy yourself!

    • Start making time for yourself.  You have worked hard you deserve a little breather.  Don’t get to relaxed but look back at where you have came from and pat yourself on the back.

  • Plan for the next threshold

    • Use your new skills at planning for the next threshold.  Try to figure out what the normal path and accelerated path would be and outsmart the competition by hopping on the fast train.  Great Job!

 

 

5 Steps to Hiring Better Employees - 1