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    How to Grow Your Business With Intention

    Read the full article on entrepreneur.com

    So many entrepreneurs find themselves reacting to the growth of their businesses — so much so that some even regret growing in the first place. I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs grow with intention through business-building frameworks to avoid that unwanted future. 

    What do I mean by business building? It’s a process of designing a sustainable operating model at each stage of growth, anticipating required upgrades to systems, processes and technology before the growth occurs. 

    It’s been my experience that most entrepreneurs don’t know where to start. They may turn to business-help books to find best practices to adopt, but I have yet to see a book that covers what I have seen work. 

    Perhaps I’ll write that book one day, but for now, I’ll share my top recommendations for business building at these four growth stages: startup, hiring your first business manager, surpassing 15 employees and scaling your workforce 30% or more. 

    A different operating system for each growth stage

    A completely different operating system is required for each one of these growth stages. You can grow your business with intention by upgrading your operating system in anticipation of each stage. 

    Why is a different operating system required at each stage? Because your top focus changes at each: your business goals. At startup, your focus is product development, funding and sales. At the time you’re ready to hire your first business manager, the focus starts to shift to delegation: How can I do more with what I have? By 15 employees, you’re choosing between a lifestyle business or making a larger impact. And lastly, at scale, it’s all about investment and your revenue return on that investment. 

    At each stage of growth, it’s typical for the business to start accruing what I like to call organizational debt. Similar to tech debt, it accrues with time and will require investment to fix. In the early days, you prioritize other things over paying off this debt, but there will be a point in time where you can no longer ignore it as it will lead to growth decline.

    Startups

    Okay, so onto the good stuff: What business-building steps can you follow in order to grow with intention at each stage? At startup, surround yourself with people that address your gaps. If you are considering full-time hires, they need to maximize your reach. Fractional executives are a great way to achieve this without the risks that come with full-time hires. Lastly, outsource as much of your operating needs as possible until you surpass 15 employees: finance, HR, IT and legal. 

    Read the full article on entrepreneur.com

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