Double Your Revenue In Three Years
In Double Double, entrepreneur and consultant Cameron Herold says he can show readers how to double their company's revenue and profit in three years. "The idea of doubling your business may seem intimidating, but it only requires growing your business 25 percent per year for three years," Herold writes in his introduction. "This is fast growth, but not hyperfast growth." And, he adds, it is the kind of growth that he has helped dozens of companies in 17 different countries to achieve.
While all readers may not reach the "double double" promised by the author — despite his track record — they will benefit from the solid management advice in a book that covers everything from vision to technology to work-life balance. The central theme throughout the book is focus — the "one absolutely essential discipline" for fast growth, writes Herold. "If you are an entrepreneur and the leader of a $500,000 to $50 million company, you have to focus intently on everything you do to grow quickly and successfully," Herold explains. "There's no room for running around unsure of what you're doing and why. Everything must be on target and geared toward that specific growth goal."
Preparing for Fast Growth
The first step, according to Herold, is to create what he calls a "painted picture" of the company. In Herold's phrase, entrepreneurs must "lean out into the future" and grab hold of a clear vision of what the company will look like in three years. One way to lean out into the future and leave the past behind is to turn off the computer and leave the office. Otherwise, he writes, the present will keep interrupting — in the form of daily tasks, e-mails, phone calls and other interruptions and pressures.
The painted picture is detailed, showing not only what the company is making, but also how the media is covering it, what clients are saying, how the company is funded, what core values drive the company and so forth. Once the painted picture is in place, the entrepreneur must "reverse-engineer" the picture to create a game plan for the future. Here Herold's methodology reflects scenario planning, although Herold does not use the term. As with scenario planning, Herold's reverse engineering involves starting with your goals and objectives, then working back to determine what the company needs to accomplish along the way in order to achieve those goals.
After showing how to prepare for fast growth, Herold lays out a series of chapters devoted to "focused actions for fast growth." This includes sections on hiring, communication, meetings, marketing and other areas.
The suggested strategy in the chapter on focused meetings, for example, is to end meetings early by allocating less time than leaders think they will need. Although this may not seem efficient, in truth, meetings fill up the time that they are given. If 90 minutes is allocated, the material will take 90 minutes to cover. However, if the meeting is planned for 50 minutes, the material will be covered in that time.
Herold also lists and describes the different types of meetings that should be held, including annual retreats, quarterly business area reviews, monthly profit sharing meetings, weekly "WAR" meetings (weekly action review) and daily "huddles" — a short (seven minutes in one of his companies), all-company, stand-up meeting starting at precisely the same time every day.
The focused marketing chapter offers advice on what Herold calls "bootstrap advertising" — essentially advertising on a small budget. One suggestion: "parketing" or parking branded vehicles at high-traffic locations.
One of Herold's strategies for focused productivity is the 5/15 reporting system. Every two weeks, direct reports write a bullet-point memo listing the status of every project for which they are responsible. The memo should take no more than 15 minutes to write and 5 minutes to read — hence the name.
A section on leadership, including chapters on personal productivity and dealing with boards of advisers, and appendices offering interview questions and an employee goal-setting process closes out this well-written, comprehensive package of management ideas and strategies for entrepreneurs and business leaders.