How to Scale Your Business: A Guide for New Entrepreneurs
This week on SUCCESS Line, I talked with Corrine, a graduate of the SUCCESS coaching certification who left a successful real estate partnership to strike out on her own. Now that she’s amassed a team of four realtors and an administrative assistant, Corrine is looking to the future and considering how exactly she should go about scaling her business.
Even if you’re not in the real estate industry, how to grow while maintaining profitability is a fundamental issue. I firmly believe there is no such thing as coasting or taking the middle ground in business, as consumers have too many choices. Here are my tips on how Corrine and others can find success amid their growth.
Acknowledge the emotions of the moment.
When charting a different course in life—and in business—your choice to pursue a new path doesn’t have to follow on the heels of a major scandal. If something is no longer serving you, and if your goals and values have changed, a different job or role might just be the right next thing for you. Make sure you take the time to feel the loss and potential grief of leaving your former role, and then become confident that taking this new position is in fact the right decision.
Individual and business growth attracts talent.
Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of simply throwing money at the situation thinking that course of action will bring them everything they want. Although higher salaries and perks might be an initial get for employees, if you’re not in the process of magnetically attracting them through your own growth, no amount of money will keep them.
The question leaders need to be asking themselves is this: Who do I need to become so that I can attract the salespeople I need? One of the biggest opportunities for leaders is the potential for growth. You’ve got to stay out in front of talented people and grow faster than them, so you can pour into them. If the leader and company’s world isn’t getting any bigger, then potential talent will have a difficult time picturing their world inside yours.
Know your numbers.
Analytics tell us in real time whether the decision we make is a good one or bad one. Every business has a cost of goods sold, and leaders need to be asking at what point they will hit their return on investment. The key is to establish benchmarks on the front end. That way, when emotion creeps in—i.e. some new widget that could make things easier—you won’t exceed a certain percentage, no matter what. Numbers make it easier to draw a line in the sand in regards to ROI and margin.
Tell your story.
How do you attract and create the right conversations between you and the candidates you’re looking for? It’s about using insights from your team members to craft messages that allow you to take your story to the general market. You want to be purposeful in telling the story of why someone wants to come on board, and the team members who already believe in the power of your business are an instrumental part of this. They can detail how they were feeling before they joined, what they’ve learned from working with you and how they feel now. Also consider putting yourself in an applicant’s shoes when you’re forming your messages. What key things would you want to know?
Use team members as recruiting tools.
Reviews and testimonials are powerful no matter the industry you’re in, and video can be a great platform to deliver that. Peer-to-peer conversations can feel somewhat unbiased, which helps strengthen the message too. Your team members want to win with, and through, other people, so use this asset to help you build an even more successful team.
Also put your employees—or in Corrine’s case, agents—in a position to attract their next teammate. What are the talking points you have for the conversations they engage in with fellow agents following a closing, for example? Is there a thank you card they send, and how can you use that to further leave a positive impression of your team? By providing team members with a script for these moments, you can help ensure they’re always at the ready to help tell the story of your business—and why someone new should join.
Remember your No. 1 job.
As a leader, filling the bench needs to be your primary responsibility. You should constantly be on the lookout for talent, because while you might not need it today, you’ll always need it tomorrow. The best time to find someone is when they’re not looking for a job, since scaling then becomes a selection among several candidates, not a forced choice between two applicants.
Ben Fairfield is the Managing Director of SUCCESS Coaching & a SUCCESS Certified Coach.
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