Many small businesses will eventually have to shed part of their entrepreneurial image and become a ”big entrepreneurial business”. The innovation part, entrepreneurship, must always be retained in a business, but other things have to change. Small business owners usually wear all the “hats” required to start and grow a business; in essence, they are “doers” rather than delegators. The transition from small to big is usually a very hard process as many business founders don’t want to relinquish control. As a business grows all the operational systems such as production/service, accounting, personnel and marketing experience a surge of activity. Planning is forgotten and keeping pace becomes the “order of the day”.
The Value Based Strategic Focus plan that we develop and help implement in a start-up or a “young” growing company, must be totally revised based upon its current position. While all the parts are still essential, everything must be re-evaluated from a new perspective.
One of the biggest challenges for the business owner is learning to let go. Depending upon the strengths of the founder, the management, marketing or internal operations may be given over to a new person. Creating this new corporate culture involves strategic planning which provides direction for the company and its employees as well as specific goals to motivate and guide behavior.
Some of the signals ( see below) that indicate a need for a ”step back and re-plan” will become evident as the business grow, and unless they are recognized, growth may stop. Like a tree, if the business stops growing It will die.
- Not enough hours in the day
- Too much time spent “putting out fires”
- Not enough qualified staff
- Profits start to shrink
- Founding values are not adhered to
- Plans are not implemented
- Accountability is lost
There are many other signals that will become evident, and they will point the way to the need for a new strategic planning session. Watch for these signals as they are positive indicators that you are on the right track and it’s time to take the next step. Now, more than ever, the need to use a fresh pair of qualified outside eyes and ears becomes critical for the next growth step.
Don’t miss this window of opportunity in your business; it may only come once in your business life.
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