in an ERP—Enterprise Resource Planning—tool (i.e., Oracle). There are also several new offerings like Microsoft Dynamics that make these comprehensive systems more affordable. Make sure you hire qualified partners to help guide you
through implementation, which can be a major pain point for growing companies, but can be much more cost efficient in the long run.
For example, after one company saw the direct correlation to the number of
people they would have needed to hire without the system, they decided to make
the investment. Because of this technology, they hired 50 percent fewer people
and became more efficient as they scaled up.
from sale to sale with not enough employees wearing too many hats, it’s
time to take a breath and look at who’s
on the bus. You cannot scale a business
without the right team and taking the
time to place those people properly
will pay off in spades in the year 2020.
Here are the steps you need to take
to find the right people, and figure out
how best to maximize the talents of the
team you’ve already got.
• Assess the talent you have on your
team. Where are you strong? Weak?
• Look at the plan from Question 4.
• Now, identify the gaps you have on
your team for fulfilling your immediate and longer-term goals.
• Schedule the time to recruit, interview and on-board with excellence
(Topgrading by Bradford Smart is an
excellent book on this topic).
Likewise, you need to have a well-oiled machine to enable these employees to excel. If you want to scale your
business you’ll need systems that can
take you to the next level. If you’re a
small business that has been manually
handling key paperwork, now is the
time to consider a technology upgrade.
It is not possible to scale a business
without computer systems in place that
can automate these daily tasks. The expense of this depends on the size and
complexity of your business, but it will
be money well spent.
The most common approach for
companies “hitting the wall” is to put
“If you’re a high growth company that has
from sale to sale
with not enough
ing too many hats,
it’s time to take a
breath and look at who’s
on the bus.”
Does My Business Have Rhythm?
Strategic planning is only one part of building a successful busi-
ness. Execution on the planning is equally important and part of
that execution revolves around establishing a “rhythm” in your
company. As the CEO, you dictate the “feel” and culture of the
company and you set the tone by which the company operates. Do your employ-
ees understand what’s important to you—your mission statement and core val-
ues—and how it impacts their daily work lives? Is there a rhythm within the
business that makes everything flow smoothly? Do your customers feel this in
their interactions with you?
Everyone can think of a position they held in a company without a positive
rhythm. This is especially true in small companies—if the CEO is in a bad mood,
it permeates throughout the organization. A hot-headed boss who can’t keep his
expletives to himself can set a tone that de-motivates an entire organization. On
the other hand, a strong but empathetic leader who has confidence in his abilities
but has a true “open door” policy that welcomes ideas from an empowered team
of managers sets the stage for a truly successful business for years to come.
Rhythm can include bi-annual strategic retreats, monthly strategic meetings
and weekly tactical ones. It is also recommended to schedule quarterly “town hall
meetings” where you get the entire organization together to talk about what’s
working, what’s not and plans for the future. You must constantly be communicating with your organization to scale your passion.
So, if you want a successful business in the year 2020, it will take dedication,
hard work, commitment and intense focus. The organics industry is used to that.
And you don’t have to figure it out all yourself. The industry is also full of successful entrepreneurs who have “been there, done that” and would be eager to help.
Rely on your network, get help from seasoned professionals or find a mentor who
can help you avoid the potholes you are sure to encounter. o
Robert U Craven is founder and president and Ellen Schutt is general manager of
ScalePassion, an executive coaching and online education firm. ScalePassion is
dedicated to the “change-the-world” entrepreneur and offers tactical and practi-
cal advice for socially responsible business leaders. ScalePassion
offerings include online “do it yourself” lessons and courses that
offer tips and tools for CEOs to implement immediately to grow their business,
as well as “do it with me” services for those companies that would like a more
personal touch. For more information, visit scalepassion.com or contact us
( firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
Robert is former CEO of Garden of Life and New Organic Ingredients, while Ellen was the editor of Nutraceuticals World magazine, VP-Marketing and Brand Strategy at RFI Ingredients and
President of Schutt Solutions, a strategic marketing and business development consulting firm.