It is Wednesday. Halfway through the week, and I don’t know about you, but I tend to drag a bit. I get excited that the weekend is closer, but I also realize that my Google task list has not lessened and the email box is still pretty full. If you suffer from a case of the Wednesdaaaaays too, then maybe you need a little success kick like me.
Today, let’s talk about growth. These words of wisdom come from Verne Harnish in his book: Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t. Harnish is the CEO of Gazelles, an executive education firm.
- Most entrepreneurs treat marketing as glorified sales support. Ouch! Of course, as a marketer, I might be somewhat biased. Don’t be myopic about marketing. Plan it well. Execute it well. Track it well. Enough said?
- Crank up the flow of qualified job applicants. Harnish recalls a trash collecting company that used this ad to attract people who were physically fit enough to collect trash: “Would you like to be paid for your workout?” Think about how you might list a job in you shop that can increase the applicants. Be creative. Post it in the comments, I would love to hear some examples.
- Value your accountants. They will keep tax collectors at bay, issue and pay invoices, and much more. But hire one who can gather the data you need to see where you’re making money by product, customer, location and salesperson. I know a few if you are looking for recommendations. 😉
- Teach your people well. They need to be able to predict where the print market is heading and be able to communicate on the company’s goals, values and priorities. Give them time to attend classes, MyOrderDesk Webinars (hey, had to get that in-they are free), conferences and seminars so they can learn and so you won’t have to pay for their mistakes.
- Fight process paralysis. Functions like recruitment, billing and customer service are likely to have hallway closets. Clean them out rather than just throwing more money at them. Streamline the workflow.
- Invest in systems. Harnish says growing companies need to upgrade their infrastructure at three critical points. At 10 employees, get a better phone system. At 50, invest in sophisticated accounting software. At 350 employees, develop a single database that links all key information, so a simple change of address by a customer doesn’t trigger a cascade of mistakes. Ok, I know, how many of you will get to 350 employees? Hopefully all of you. A guy can dream, right?
Procrastinating on this will stall your growth. Your rivals have already made these changes (you should be scared by now.)