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Want to Scale Up Without Selling Out? Do This First Solidify your vision and culture to fuel sustainable growth.

By Heather McLeod

Key Takeaways

  • Core values should be woven into the fabric of the organization.
  • From day one, you must prioritize systems that accommodate the dynamic nature of a rapidly growing business.
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Ambition is a beautiful thing, but growing a business takes more than the will to succeed. As part of the team that launched Authority Brands in 2017, I knew that our trajectory would be explosive. Aggressively pursuing growth isn't just about the numbers, it's also about taking the time to build foundational elements of the business to support continued growth.

Growth should strengthen, not dilute, the spirit of a company. Is your business ready to grow? Make sure you've done these three things first.

1. Find true north

A strong company vision is a beacon that each individual in the system can look to to guide their work. When everyone on the team knows exactly where the company is headed, they become stakeholders in the growth process.

All too often, the core values of a business are relegated to a slide in onboarding training and rarely heard of again. Instead, they should be woven into the fabric of the organization. The goal is an unshakable company-wide vision.

However, it's easier said than done. According to Gallup, only 23% of U.S. employees strongly agree that they can apply their organization's values to their work. No matter the scope of any individual's work, they should clearly understand how their contributions are important to the vision. Every action, from marketing initiatives to operational support, has a part to play, and it's up to leaders to draw connections for their teams.

A vision is most powerful when it's a shared promise and commitment. It is worth the time it takes to articulate to each and every employee how they contribute to overall success.

Related: Unlock the Secret to Crafting Compelling Core Values With This Step-by-Step Guide

2. Invest in a culture of collaboration

A business's culture is where vision is put to the test. A toxic culture can sap the promise out of a compelling vision, while a healthy culture offers a structure for success. A strong culture is especially crucial for growing sustainably.

A true commitment to collaborative culture touches every element of the employee experience. Setting clear expectations about culture starts at recruitment and never stops. People should feel just as comfortable communicating pain points as sharing successes or floating exciting ideas.

A diverse range of perspectives arms a company with endless approaches to problem-solving. As a system grows, so does the pool of great minds you have to draw inspiration from. If you empower each team member to contribute their best and focus on cultivating a strong culture of collaboration.

Related: The 4 Personalities You Need on Your Marketing Team

3. Plan a flexible path for growth

Constant growth means constant change, and your systems must account for that. A flexible path for growth is about planning in a way that serves your business's current state while actively shaping its future. Think of the way tall buildings are carefully constructed to flex rather than break in adverse weather.

Every level of a growing business needs processes and procedures that can scale and adapt as the work changes. Because process planning and documentation can feel like it's not the "real" work, it's easy to overlook, especially when a team is small and focused. That's a grave mistake. Your goal is for that team to grow and grow, so it's never too early to give it a guiding structure. Build teams with an eye toward the future. Map out future improvements and what circumstances would allow you to implement them.

From day one, you must prioritize systems that accommodate the dynamic nature of a rapidly growing business. Our franchise system is an excellent example of the power of process and scaling. Back-of-house infrastructures like IT, HR, legal, and marketing are handled by best-in-class professionals so that franchise owners can keep all their focus on providing best-in-class service. With the corporate office focused on making business efficient and scalable, each brand levels up. Managing this kind of growth requires a holistic viewpoint and a high level of interconnectedness throughout the business.

Related: How to Turn a Crisis into an Opportunity by Managing Negative Publicity

Heather McLeod

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Chief Growth Officer of Authority Brands

Heather brings her passion for collaboration, customer experience, and process to everything she does. She focuses on building the right team, then empowering them to be successful through processes and systems that scale and support continued system growth.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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