It’s one thing to start a business – it is quite another to have it grow, flourish and ultimately scale. I have learned much from many over the years – but it all started more than a dozen years ago when I first attended a Rockafeller Habits workshop in Sydney run by Verne Harnish. Since that time I have implemented many of his ideas – and many others. In this section, there are a series of posts written over the years about what and how the team and I did what we did.
True to the fundamental elements outlined in Verne’s more recent book Scale Up I cover such things as:
People: This can be the hardest and most challenging part of any entrepreneurial journey… knowing that it needs to be ‘right’ does not make it any easier – also it is a never ending journey. We call it employee experience, believing if we support our team then they will be able to better support our customers.
Strategy: Getting the business model right or even just fine tuning it… strategy is never set and forget. The market changes, customers change and business is not getting any easier. There is never any guarantee of continual margin and revenue growth?
Execution: The ability to get things (the right things) done will ultimately determine the ability to grow profitably. Learning what not to do is equally important. I share plenty of painful lessons in these blogs.
Cash: RedBalloon was ‘bootstrapped’ fancy word for saying we started the business from home – keeping overheads low. When Customers purchased then we reinvested in the business. Customers grew the business. Now in the Redii.com business where scaling fast is critical then I view funding differently. There is no perfect answer. As long as there is enough cash in the bank to keep growing and service customers.
British entrepreneur Sherry Coutu’s Scale-Up Report identified five barriers to growth
- Finding employees to hire who have the skills they need – and then retaining them.
- Building leadership capability
- Accessing customers in other markets / home market
- Accessing the right combination of finance
- Navigating infrastructure
All these things we will look at in these posts.