Making the leap to your own business venture can be both terrifying and exhilarating. You see an opportunity and you decide to go for it. Very soon, however, that opportunity can quickly become a hamster wheel of constant activity with no forward progress. You are so immersed in the day-to-day running of your business that the thought of stepping away to focus on bigger- picture issues and longer-term growth strategies seems impossible.
Scaling a business takes a very different skill set from starting one. In her new book Scale or Fail: How to Build Your Dream Team, Explode Your Growth and Let Your Business Soar, Allison Maslan presents her SCALEit Method® for building replicable systems to facilitate exponential growth without increasing your overhead at the same time.
The SCALEit Method
Maslan has scaled 10 of her own companies from scratch and sold four of them. She has also helped thousands of other entrepreneurs get off the proverbial hamster wheel, stabilize their revenue streams and get their lives back. She attributes this success to a proven system she calls the SCALEit Method – Strategic Vision, Cash Flow, Alliance of the Team, Leadership and Execution:
- Strategic Vision is the dream that prompted you to start your business in the first place. It must be constantly nurtured so that it will provide sufficient energy to drive you forward through the challenges of future growth.
George Lucas’ vision for StarWars, for example, far exceeded his daily reality of paltry budgets and broken props on the set of the first movie. His conviction in the value of the six-chapter story enabled him to overcome obstacles that would have defeated less-passionate directors.
- Cash Flow is the life blood of any growing business. Without it, your company can starve in the face of increasing sales because you don’t have the money to fill those orders. Developing stable reserves and accurate forecasting of future cash flow is critical to support any future expenditures (staff, inventory, systems, etc.).
- Alliance of the Team is the key to getting off that hamster wheel. Without people to whom you can delegate responsibilities, you will never be able to step away and focus on strategic planning. Maslan identifies four quadrants – Revenue, Traffic, Sales and Operations – that she calls the “four superpowers.” If your biggest contribution to the business falls into one of these categories, you will either need to clone yourself for the other three or hire competent professionals to manage them.
- Leadership represents a transition away from direct involvement in every decision. To scale your business, you will need to adopt a more strategic role of setting direction and identifying decisions that others will be empowered to make.
- Execution is the momentum that drives your growth. None of the other steps in the SCALEit Method will be effective unless you take action. The author offers a simple tool – the Three Ps of Planning – to make sure you focus on maximum execution:
The Three Ps of Planning
Manage your time and your involvement in your business by dividing your days into three different categories: Prep Days, where you focus on research and ideation away from the interruptions of daily tasks; Pinnacle Days, where you are highly visible in your business, interacting with your team, leading meetings or representing your company in a marketing or public relations role; Play Days, as the name implies, are for complete disengagement from the business, where you go off grid and focus on recharging your batteries and creative energies.
Scale or Fail offers a proven road map to success. Leveraging her SCALEit Method, Maslan provides a wealth of real-life stories and exercises to underline her proactive approach to growing your business to its fullest potential.