Lean has huge traction in about every part of organizations except for sales and marketing. But if you really understand Lean, it becomes compelling for sales and marketing, purely because of the clarity, focus, and simplicity it drives.
As an entrepreneur starting a new business, you often have to wear the hat of cook, dishwasher, accountant, and general manager. However, one of the biggest mistakes a young owner will make is not quickly clarifying their role within the organization.
The definition of a bottleneck in your business is one that constricts the flow of work from one area to another in the flow of product or service through your organization. A bottleneck in your organization's flow can happen, shift, or disappear quickly.
If you have a small business that can be easily replicated, then franchising may be one of the best ways to expand it at a fast pace. And if you tackle it the right way, you can certainly pump up your profitability.
My biggest adjustment when I started my business was that no matter the issue, all paths led to me! Finding new clients, setting the business strategy, agreeing the needed partnership, preparing the materials for the meeting, or managing the vendor registration? Yes, all me. The diversity and volume of topics on my “to do” list was overwhelming at times.
In any business, the people we hire make a huge difference. The right people in the right spots at the right time can push you to new heights, while a bad hire can set you back. A great asset as you organize your business for growth is building around entrepreneurial employees.
As any business ages and grows, it will change. You don’t always do things the same way you did as a startup. The quest for innovation and new approaches to problems often gradually give way to a focus on incremental improvements and doing what you’ve always done, just a little bit better. This problem is part of what is widely known as The Innovator’s Dilemma, after the title of the book by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen.
What will happen to your business after you retire? Most small business owners want their companies to survive after they leave, but only a small fraction of businesses actually manage to last into a second generation. To make it, you need an effective succession plan.
For a business to be able to grow, it needs to be flexible enough to adapt to changes as they happen. You have to be willing to examine everything you do with a critical eye, and reinvent yourself every day. Never take a strategy for granted!
Organizations of all kinds have a bad habit of growing more and more complex. But an important feature for an organization focused on growth is keeping things simple. A clear, simple organizational structure will help everyone understand what is happening in the business and where to go next.