2020-06-19 By Joseph C. Settles
Smooth Growth Requires Careful Planning, Says Jeff Nock an Iowa Executive Coach
Most entrepreneurs dream of growing their business. To be sustainable, however, growth must be scalable, which means entrepreneurs must create a model that can considerably increase sales without needing to add massive resources and costs, says Jeff Nock, CEO, and founder of Prescient Consulting. Entrepreneurs can scale their businesses by following these tips.
- Evaluate and plan. Establish goals for sales growth, broken down by the number of new customers, orders, and revenue. Once the sales goals are developed, do a similar expense plan that indicates the people, technology, and infrastructure that would be required to support that sales growth. Look at industry benchmarks to determine the staff needed to support certain levels of sales, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
- Develop a strategy. For example, consider ways in which processes can be simplified to reduce the incremental costs of additional sales while still providing a quality product or service. Begin to form partnerships or to research companies to whom you might outsource non-core functions. Find financing sources, such as lines of credit or capital from investors to invest in better equipment, improve technology, or hire more staff. Consulting firms can help entrepreneurs to develop their scaling strategies, says Jeff Nock.
- Invest in employees and their development then engage them in finding solutions. For example, consider reimbursing for relevant college courses, provide paid leave for volunteering, or extended parental leave. Leverage the skills of employees, friends, and advisers to help determine how to streamline processes or improve marketing effectiveness, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
- Invest in technology. Automation of repetitive tasks and many fulfillment tasks can help lower incremental costs. System integration, which enables the company’s various computer systems to work together, improves communication. Good communication is a key factor in effectively scaling a business. Entrepreneurs do not need to be experts in technology. Consulting firms also can suggest software applications that can improve scalability and may also be able to provide part-time or temporary CTO help, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
- Follow the data and not hunches. This is particularly true when researching and interpreting customer behavior such as why they stay or leave, how long they take to make up their mind to purchase, what attracts their attention, and what they’d like to see improve, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
- Stick to Your Strengths. Every good idea is not necessarily the right idea for every company. Those companies that succeed focus on those products and services that they can deliver better or more efficiently than their competitors. They reject other ideas. They do this to avoid spreading resources spread too thinly over too many projects, a practice that does not result in a scalable business model, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
- As its visionary leader, the entrepreneur should focus on those things that will move the business forward strategically. Delegate other tasks to a trusted employee, says Jeff Nock.
Jeff Nock Iowa is an experienced executive, consultant, and leader with demonstrated success in growing start-ups and established companies, as well as non-profit organizations. He has a master of science degree in management and is skilled in business planning, strategic planning process, management development, comprehensive marketing, sales, and presentation development.
Jeff Nock Iowa founded Prescient Consulting in January 2019. The consultancy helps funded early-stage and mid-cap companies achieve their vision and growth goals. The company offers services that include C-level mentoring, strategic planning, business model ideation/evolution, market analysis, competitive niche analysis, business development, operational efficiencies, and brand evolution.