How can you scale a business and ensure growth? According to entrepreneur and AFR Young Rich Lister Jack Delosa, founder of business coaching group The Entourage, it can be a challenge to get it right.
“Drive, grit, covering up mistakes and being resourceful are natural to entrepreneurs. But the problem is they continue to treat their business like a start-up.”
A recipient of The Entourage’s advice, Jye Bohm, director of Profinish Fire Protection, took his business from $1.5 million to a $20 million turnover.
Bohm says fledgling business owners rely on friends and family to grow their business yet those involved rarely have the experience required to elevate the operation.
Implementing a strong and robust recruitment process was a big step for Bohm in achieving scale. Now he has the time and focus to grow four other business concepts.
How to scale up the business sustainably
Delosa and The Entourage CEO Tim Morris have just published Elevate, a guide to accelerating business growth.
Elevate shares tips and case studies on moving from business operator to business owner, driving growth, creating a structure that enables growth, and applying the formulae in any future situation.
The consumer-facing elements that drive growth are marketing, sales and product. The elements that enable growth – operations, finance and people – create a sustainable business. The blueprint for a scalable, sustainable business is the combination of robust strategies across these six elements, the authors suggest.
The main constraint for an entrepreneur often comes as a result of success, Delosa points out.
“An entrepreneur is in pursuit of freedom yet commercial success becomes a constraint because it restricts freedom.”
Delosa believes 90 per cent of business owners spend 80 to 90 per cent of their time delivering their product or service. The key to scaling up is building a structurally sound business.
“Accelerated growth is supported by an operations function that ensures each element connects to the next.”
Part of the skill is understanding the role that entrepreneurs have as either drivers or enablers of growth, and harnessing the strengths of each.
So how does a business owner stay on message, once the business scales up significantly, and delivers the freedom and choice that are an entrepreneur’s goal?
Measure the metrics to maintain the freedom
“Very often it’s about building a structure, but you have to make sure this is not mistaken for an ivory tower, because that will cost you. Entrepreneurs who say “I don’t want to lose control” are doing it wrong,” Delosa says.
To step up and elevate the business beyond the entrepreneur requires metrics defined and measured across three essential elements: people, function and the company. More robust financial management is a result of strengthened operations and processes.
“Knowing your financial performance and forecasts is imperative for making sound decisions about what you can, can’t, should or shouldn’t do.”