The 5 Traps of Scaling Up Your Business

The 5 Traps of Scaling Up Your Business

Business Culture Leadership Profitability

As a business owner, you know that change is inevitable… especially when you’re scaling up a business.  You built your business with passion, blood, sweat and tears, and while your start-up challenges may be behind you, there’s a whole set of new issues to face on the horizon.

These are the growing pains of the SME entrepreneur.  Is my initial objective to build to sell still what has meaning for me? Do I have the right people on the bus for growth rather than launch activities? How do our financial targets need to change to reach a profitability that is sustainable?

Over 95% of new businesses never grow beyond $1 million in revenue.

Here’s why…

Too Little Attention to Bottom Line Targets

During the start-up phase, it’s all about making sure there’s enough cash coming in to cover the expenses and payroll going out. And all too often, there isn’t, which is why start-ups often rely on personal, private or public financing. Once the demand and the supply are established, however, it’s time for the business to start focusing on gross margins and profit.  Entrepreneurs assume that in order to increase profit, they need to increase sales, but that’s not necessarily the best, or easiest, way to do it.  All expenses (fixed, variable, and payroll) need to be re-assessed in order to create and sustain a profitable business early in the growth phase. The inability to become profitable is the number one reason businesses fail.

Questions to Action: What is the monthly $$ we would have needed last month to make a profit AFTER paying expenses, payroll, owner’s pay and pay down debt?  What would it take to reduce our cash outflows by that much next month?

Culture is Neglected

Without deliberately cultivating the culture of your company as you grow, it will run amok like a class full of teenagers when the teacher doesn’t show up. Your business culture includes the values and beliefs of all the staff, and the way they behave at work.  As the entrepreneur, if your company values are not communicated and expected behaviours are not made clear, then you’ll lose the unique strength that made your business successful at launch and you’ll see declines in cohesion, trust and productivity.

Question to Action: What do we stand for and how does that show up in our day to day actions?

In part 2 of this blog, we explore the next 3 traps of scaling business, and what you can do about them.

As the CEO, what are your business growing pains?  Leave a comment below to join the discussion.

Until next time, be free… and wild.

Sue

Which Fears are in Your Way?

Which Fears are in Your Way?

Business Leadership Personal Growth self development

In Part 1, the first blog in this series, I shared with you two ways to know if you are getting in our own way – one is recurring problems that are actually patterns for you, and the other is unconscious programming that is running your behaviour without you being aware of it.

Now let’s look at the third way to know if you’re getting in your own way.

3. Your doubts and fears are causing you to second guess yourself

Everyone has dragons to face. As a successful business owner, you’re no different.  In fact, most of us have become quite adept at masking those dragons with compensating or offsetting habits, rather than facing them head on.  But they are still there, those doubts and fears, in the deepest undercurrent of our being, and they are consuming valuable energy that would serve you much better if it were released!

A Harvard Business Review article exposes the top fears of CEO’s and it can make your hair curl. It’s both shocking and a relief to a) learn that high-powered executives are, after all human, and b) that we’re not the only one with dragons under our beds. Take a look at what CEO’s are most afraid of, in rank order below. I have added the limiting belief system that underlies each fear, and adapted the resulting effects from the HBR article, so that you can check-in with yourself to see which of these dragons is running your show.

FEAR

LIMITING

BELIEF

EFFECT

1

Being found out to be incompetent I am an imposter

Reduced confidence; undermine relationships; silo thinking

2

Underachieving I am a failure

Take bad risks; lack of ownership and follow-through

3

Appearing too vulnerable I am weak Avoid honest conversations; inauthentic; hiding parts of oneself

4

Being politically attached by colleagues I am not safe

Mistrustful and overcautious; too much political game-playing

5 Appearing foolish I am a fool

Avoid speaking up; avoid honest conversations; tolerating bad behaviour

Notice your inner reactions to the statements in the chart. Your conscious mind will attempt to argue with you that that fear or belief is not true, but deep down you will know that you know that it’s running at your core… you will feel the familiarity, feel the resonance, feel the truth of it.

Every single fear is driven by a limiting belief, which when changed, will eliminate the fear. Your natural state of being is love, not fear.  Fear is never truth. And it wreaks havoc with our confidence and self-esteem. So let’s release the veil of fear shall we?

Do some self reflection. List your greatest fears. Then let’s get together and transmute them into success-driving programming so you can get on with creating the success you dream of.  Now that’s Wildfire Alchemy!

So, are you getting in your own way?

If any of these scenarios is describing you, then it’s time to up-level your personal leadership mastery.  Contact me today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Until next time, be free… and wild.

Sue

Are You Getting in Your Own Way?

Are You Getting in Your Own Way?

Business Leadership Personal Growth self development

It might be time to up-level your leadership development

There’s a common expression that is a great are-you-getting-in-your-own-way tool in the personal & professional mastery industry.  When we get caught up in the reasons and excuses about why we aren’t getting what we want in life and we start playing the blame-game (come on, you know what I’m talking about) then our colleague or coach will remind us that whenever we point our finger at someone or something, there are always 3 other fingers pointing back at us!

It’s a great time to laugh at ourselves. Because really, when we’re struggling and fighting with all these external things in our lives, we can step into the relief of realizing that it’s something within ourselves that needs to be addressed, and great news – that’s totally within our control! And that means it’s time for some inner leadership development.

Here are 3 ways to know if you are getting in your own way.

  1. You have a problem that keeps recurring

It’s sometimes difficult to see the forest for the trees, when you are in the thick of it.  But when you take a moment to pause and reflect on a challenge or issue, you will often see how it’s been repeating in your life.  It may be repeating within a certain area of your life, for example you realize that your staff is just not understanding what you expect from them, and your customers are misunderstanding the delivery process and your vendors are confused about the timelines… the common denominator is your communication.  At other times, it may be a recurring theme in different areas of your life, such as you tolerating your office manager being habitually late, and your friend reneging on their promise to help you paint the rec room, and your daughter always managing to squeeze that extra $20 out of you… the common theme is your lack of boundaries.

A recurring problem is always pointing to a pattern and it it’s a pattern in your life, then it’s all about you.  So resolve the pattern rather than a specific issue and you’ll clear out all the problems connected to that pattern.

  1. You’re using all your education and training and you’re still not getting the results you want

Knowledge and intellect are not the only factors in success. Whether you trained in B-school or the school of hard knocks, you likely have unconscious programming that is placing a ceiling on your success, and it’s completely out of your awareness.  Perhaps you are a sceptical kind of person, always considering the downside and risk, and planning contingencies. On the surface that sounds like a good business practice, however the negative possibilities need to be considered and handled swiftly, and preferably not by you as the business owner, so that you can get on with focusing positively on your future targets.

Your thoughts are best focused on your vision, your goals and the positive results you are in the process of creating.  There is scientific evidence to show that those who remain positively focused on their desired outcomes are more likely to succeed.  Leave the risk management to your right-hand guy or gal and be the visionary that you need to be in your business.

When you’re not getting the results you want, your first place to look is in the mirror. Here’s an amazing arrangement of Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror by PATAX and special guests.  Stay with it to the end for the wonderful latin-inspired jam. The lyrics are powerful too.

There are an unlimited number of unconscious programs like this that can overthrow the most brilliant leader.  And it usually takes an intimate conversation with a trained professional to identify and change them into success programs so you can get on with growing your business.

In Part 2 of this blog series, we reveal the third way that we get in our own way and some shocking insight into the top fears of the most senior leaders.

Until then, be free… and wild.

Sue