Five tips to creating an Olympic level business
1. Strong leaders should be able to communicate the business strategy with absolute clarity.
Often, I am asked – “How do I get everyone in my team, all pulling together and motivated to achieving the business goals?”
The first few questions I ask are “how clear are you as a business leader on your business vision? What outcomes do you want to achieve? Does every staff member understand this, and do they understand the part that they play towards achieving it?
There are several effective tools that you can use to help you communicate an execution plan for your strategy. My two personal favourites are the 1-page strategic plan by Verne Harnish (Link to OPSP) and the one-page action plan which is developed from OKR’s (objectives and key results) – see 8 examples templates here )
2. Ensure that you have the right talent and skills in your business.
Often, established businesses fail to recognise when fresh talent and skills are needed. Firstly, put a required skills matrix together, then review the people that you have and establish if you have what you need within the existing team(s). If there are skill gaps, then consider upskilling through training, mentoring, and coaching or seeking fresh talent and skills into your business. If you look at it objectively, it is easier to make those decisions but keep at the forefront of your mind that you need to have a good cultural fit.
3. Understand and Engage with your target market
Scaling businesses need to develop a strategic approach to accessing new markets. Local contacts and networks will get you so far but to scale, you need to access larger clients which require a structured approach. Consider market research and profiling your competition. Profile your prospect clients and have a clear plan to target and win new business.
4. Have the right infrastructure to support a highly effective team
High performers expect to have all the resources that they need to do their job to the best of their ability. The recent pandemic has catapulted the need for flexible working arrangements and highlighted the need for digital solutions. Things to consider are the quality of equipment available, systems and processes, tools, internet speeds, databases, bespoke systems, and the building/environments they are to work in.
5. Know your numbers and access finance at the right time
High performers can get wobbly when they sense financial pressures and unfortunately this can sometimes result in them jumping ship. If you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know your business. Your employees will expect you to have a good solid plan and contingencies in place for unexpected crisis. The pandemic is a good example of this. Therefore, good financial forecasting and management is paramount. You can access finance in several different ways, and it is always easier to do so when it is planned for rather than in a crisis moment.
The scaleup partners have all scaled their own businesses and can give advice based on their own business experiences and expertise. Whilst they can individually help to support growing and scaling businesses, like any team member, they all have different personalities and different styles of working. Together, they form an Olympic level team of business support.