How to overcome the barriers that stagnate companies?
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
If we entrepreneurs have learned something during the last 12 months, it is to build agile companies that are capable of operating efficiently, resilient to the changing context of the markets and with the necessary flexibility to adjust to any unforeseen event.
If we want to maintain this agility in the long term, it is important that we are aware of the complexities that the growth of our companies entails and that, if not managed correctly, can cause our businesses to be absorbed by the rhythm of their own growth. Here are my recommendations to transform these barriers and turn them into escalation engines:
1. Develop effective marketing: Have you ever thought about all the results of a good marketing strategy? Effective marketing not only gets you clients and contracts, but also brings potential investors, allies and new talents closer to your company.
As an entrepreneur, I have learned that developing an effective and powerful marketing strategy begins with disciplined execution of two simple practices: allocate sufficient time and develop a list of 25 key people for the business.
Allotting enough time means that as CEO, you need to be involved in making important decisions. You should set aside at least one hour a week to meet with your marketing team, without the sales team present. I am surprised by the number of entrepreneurs who do not distinguish between one department and the other, because while sales are essentially the creation of relationships with your customers, marketing is analytical and numerical.
Can you imagine the power that getting 25 key allies would give your brand? To do this, you must make a list of key people for your business and spend the next few days establishing contact with them. This list will have to be made up of influencers , opinion leaders and people that you admire and would like to be promoters of your brand.
2. Build a scalable structure: when forced to hire more collaborators and serve more clients, companies need to optimize their systems and processes, need physical spaces or, due to the situation due to the pandemic, know how to align their teams when operating from home.
Most of us entrepreneurs start our businesses with teams of 5 to 6 people and we face a great challenge when we find ourselves in the need to open different departments with increasingly larger teams.
Traditional business models tend to use vertical and hierarchical organizational charts where leaders are from a position that blinds them to what happens below them, this compromises innovation and effective communication.
To create a scalable infrastructure, you must start from the organization of your team. Instead of seeing our teams as the muscles of our companies, we must learn to see them as the brain. In this way we will be able to create much more flexible organization charts in which the priority is the interconnections between people and departments so that communication flows in a constant and organic way.
3. Leadership: the main barrier is in the leaders, since everything that happens in the decision makers is replicated to the rest of the organization. Many of the entrepreneurs I know have a huge pile of outstanding books dusting on their desks, which affects their development as leaders. Bill Gates claims that agile companies are not those with a know-it-all mentality, but rather a learn-it-all mentality.
The best CEOs in the world have the discipline of education and have developed personal habits and routines to grow their knowledge and leadership. Mark Cuban spends three hours a day learning new things, with the goal of getting just one idea to help him grow his businesses. Warren Buffet says the key to his success has never been to skip his daily reading time.
As an entrepreneur and business advisor, I have come to the conclusion that one of the main qualities that define me as a leader and as a human being is that I am a person passionate about learning, and I have found that this same quality characterizes both my company and the people I surround myself with. If we want to run successful and agile companies that can scale without pain, entrepreneurs must have enough humility to admit that we do not know everything and the necessary ambition to continue learning more every day.
- You may be interested: 3 resilient leadership practices to scale your company in 2021