You’ve proven your value to early adopter customers of your product or service. You’re business beat the proverbial odds of success. Now your business has reached a plateau.
As a Founder/ CEO / Partner / Leader of an emerging growth business, you’ve survived the early struggle startup phase. You’ve proven your value to early adopter customers of your product or service. You’re business beat the proverbial odds of success. Now your business has reached a plateau (or ceiling) and you’re struggling with the dual challenge of operational effectiveness and customer intimacy.
Can you relate to this scenario?
The perpetual battle of priorities.
Right now, if you’ve identified with my scenario above, there’s a battle of priorities going on within your organization.
There are people in your company who are working hard to operate the business effectively and others who are striving to gain the attention and affection of the next generation of customers who will enable the business to scale.
Sometimes the quest for operational effectiveness (profit) takes over and the business becomes obsessed with better margins squeezing more from every revenue dollar. In the process, the focus on creating experiences customer’s love and can’t live without takes a back seat to maximizing transactions.
On the other hand, the endless pursuit of more customers puts enormous pressure on those charged with delivering on the big promises that are made along the way without the necessary resources. In the process, your effectiveness as an organization diminishes continuing to serve more low value customers who always buy the lowest price.
Stepping up to the next level requires leadership teams keep these opposing forces in constant state of balance.
Integrating the silos.
As you know, there are three main silos within every organization.
- Marketing /Sales
In the startup phase of most businesses, these components are all muddled together with the Founder taking the lead role in every aspect of the business. But as the business grows beyond the Founder’s capabilities and moves into the emerging growth phase, these components become separated as a management team is built around them.
Marketing and Sales teams drive the revenue. Operations teams deliver the goods. Finance teams handle the money and produce a return for the owners when it’s all said and done.
One is no good without the other, none are more important than the other. Like the mechanisms in a fine Swiss watch, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
To move up the value chain and scale, the silos within your business must be integrated as one force for growth. This requires a level of focus and discipline that most leadership teams in the early growth stage are not very good at.
What it takes to master the “scaleability factor”.
Every leadership team desires sustained growth and to build an enduring brand. No surprise there, but if you can’t clearly and quickly help a customer believe your solution is their “one and only” solution, you’ll never scale your business to the next level.
I call this challenge “the scaleability factor”– a challenge every emerging leadership team will face as they focus on who they are, what they stand for, whom they serve, and how their desired reputation shapes their business goals and bigger future.
The scaleability factor requires endless focus and discipline. Over time, this creates the lift to take your business to the next level of success.
Focus on the right customer – not every suspected customer.
Focus on staying true to your core values and standing for something valuable not in abundant supply elsewhere.
Focus on innovation–creating new value rather than competing for the value created by others at a cheaper price.
Focus on embedding a clear and compelling vision for the future that everyone in your organization is committed to achieving because that vision is a shared passion, cause and purpose.
Focus on building a customer-driven culture where everyone always gives a little more than is expected–creating experiences customers love and can’t live without.
And finally, as a leadership team, you realize that you are all growing together in an easy and relaxed way. Your contributions, talents and capabilities continue to grow and expand without end. You experience a collective sense of fulfillment and satisfaction serving higher value customers. The creative spark, vitality and health of your organization is sustained and expanded with each level of growth.
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