The ability to create a scalable business starts with a clear vision.
I was having a conversation with someone recently about the Grow Retreat and whether or not she wanted to join us. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that this is a retreat for business owners who already have employees and want to scale their business up.
She replied that she hired employees from the very start of her business. She knew from the get-go exactly where she wanted to go, and she stated “I knew what I wanted to do with this business… and I knew I was not going to do it all myself.”
Too many business owners are missing that clarity and recognition.
I understand how it happens. When I started Grow Disrupt, my vision was just to get away from my corporate job. I wanted to build a big business, but I only had fuzzy ideas of what that was going to end up looking like. If I’d taken time to create more clarity about my own strengths and weaknesses and hired help sooner, we would have scaled faster.
Hiring is a piece of scaling, but more important, is the extreme clarity about your vision for your business on several important fronts.
Clarity on ROI:
As business owners, we are almost always investing excess time and money. I don't know many business owners getting their business off the ground that work only 40 hours/week, and I know every business owner has had a moment where we’ve invested something in the business and then lost the money. Yet with these huge investments, some business owners seem to think that it’s enough to get a paycheck from the business – it’s not!
Yes, if you are working in your business you should receive a paycheck. But if you invested your money in the stock market, you’d expect that money to become more valuable and for the company to provide profit distributions. Expecting this and building a business designed to provide it ahead of time is important to making it happen in a timely manner.
Clarity on Size:
On a related note, if you want to build a business that is stable, you will need to do more than just creating your own job. If you are the only person working on your business, you don’t have a business, you have a job.
In the long term, that’s a bad plan. It’s not a business plan, it’s a contractor plan and contractors don’t get health benefits, paid vacations, or profit distributions..
So, if you want any of the above and the ability to retire while still making money off of the business someday, you have to make a business that gets bigger than you and has things like employees.
Clarity on Outsourcing:
To scale the business, there are areas of your business you shouldn’t be piddling around in. Those areas should be outsourced.
This is much easier when you have clarity about the size of the business you are building long-term. If you know what you’re building, it’s easier to see what sections of the business will need to grow and need support.
As you are looking to hire, make sure you are hiring someone who has the ability to be trained properly to take control of the job and own it. When you have someone who takes control of the job and owns it, it’s easier for them to ask you to back off and let them do what you hired them to do.
It’s one of my favorite sides of my team. When I start stepping into jobs that I have no reason to be involved in, they are quick to step up and remind me that they aren’t forcing me out, but that they are capable of taking care of it, and that I have a different agenda for my time.
At the end of the day...
Building a scalable business truly comes down to the clarity of your vision.
With a clear vision, it’s easy to outline a path to build the business that will provide ROI on your time and money investments. You’ll understand which areas of the business need to exist beyond you, and you’ll find it easier to outsource as needed to protect your vision.
During that conversation he mentioned that he’d just gotten back from a week on Necker Island with Richard Branson and how Branson had shared one thing that made a huge difference for him. Specifically, Branson mentioned that,
“The reason I am where I am today is because I’m dyslexic and I’m ADD.” - Richard Branson
He went on to tell John about how when Branson was building his business, he would find that he could only force himself to work on something for a week or two, and then he would be forced to outsource simply because he couldn’t do it well.
He grew because of his struggle.
When we get out of our own way like Branson did, and make the business grow around a vision, that’s when we create sustainable businesses!
If you’re struggling with building your business into a sustainable company, I encourage you to check out Grow Disrupt’s Business Builders Basics package. It’s affordable, and I designed it around the things I would have needed help with when I started my business. Check it out here!
Author of this blog Stephanie Scheller is a TED speaker, a two-time best-selling author and the founder of Grow Disrupt: a San Antonio based company dedicated to disrupting the way the world does business through training. In just under a decade, Stephanie has been behind the scenes with nearly 2500 small businesses. She has worked in groups and one-on-one to create total business transformation & help business owners live the life they got into business to create!