The biggest challenge in scaling a small business is the founder’s lack of knowledge and need for control. Unfortunately, founders are often naïve and believe that no one can do the work they do as well as them. Often they fear failure, fear hiring, fear bringing other people into the business and fear management. These fears are deep-rooted and can be due to a number of things such as the founders upbringing of graft and hustle, pride and the need to be in control as opposed to letting go.
Companies can only reach a certain size if all you do is graft yourself as the founder. It’s probably in the low six figures in revenue because at some stage you have to let go of the control, bring in experts and turn graft into craft, mission and vision.
Here’s a couple of ways to do just that.
- Draft standard operating procedures (SOP) for all of the areas of your business. Now you can start to hire staff and bring in experts that can follow those SOP’s and your business will continue to operate as if you were running it.
- Start outsourcing. Some of your hands-on tasks need to be outsourced so that you can go from working in an operational and tactical way to focusing on the strategy and vision for the business.
When a small business successfully scales at some point, virtually everything that a founder does is not worth their time anymore. After building the foundation a founder should bring in staff to help with the operations so the founder can continue to sell and build the brand. But then after a while selling becomes not worth their while because there’s only a certain amount of hours in the day and it’s not scalable if you want to scale nationally and globally. So the next stage is to hire sales staff to continue to grow and to systemise the process with SOPs that are easy to follow.
Once you have SOPs in place and staff can come in and learn how to sell, how to market, how to build and how to deliver the products and services that you create, the only thing that stops them is their mindset. They don’t possess your mindset, the mindset of a founder. So be patient when bringing in a team because even if it’s messy at first you’ll get there in the end. It’s also important as the founder to be aware of your own mindset as you’ll often have the mindset that the people you bring in will fail and won’t succeed. But as a founder, you need to be flexible, let go of control and bring people into your business so that you can work on your business and not in it.