The Smith Report - Operational Playbooks

10 Symptoms of a Business Struggling to Scale

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As the CEO of a business you will suffer some or even most of these symptoms. You could be flat lining on the sales front or aggressively growing but if you notice these symptoms you’re probably not scaling. If you are not scaling then you are not building a business that is sustainable, safe and aligned. Eventually we all stop scaling if we don’t do something about it.

 Symptoms
  1. I’ve reached $20m [insert last year's revenue] but the business still revolves around me the owner.
  2. I’m getting surprised too often with little pipeline visibility and deals not closing.
  3. When I randomly check that follow up actions have taken place after meetings I’m often underwhelmed.
  4. I’ve invested in a new CRM system but I don’t have a sales process that explains why I’m failing or why I’m succeeding to close deals.
  5. I tried to sell my business and failed.
  6. Our preferred shortlist candidates for openings are going elsewhere.
  7. I can’t get answers to basic questions from my management systems.
  8. My acquisition strategy has failed and yet there are attractive targets that should be doing deals with us.
  9. Department managers seem busier than ever yet my big three pet projects remain further away than ever from completion.
  10. My cash flow forecasts are becoming less reliable and it’s getting dangerous.

These trap most of the reasons why leaders reach out to us. As operators we’ve lived these symptoms and we have effective remedies to make them go away!

 

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About the Author

Ian founded The Portfolio Partnership (TPP) in 2010. TPP is an operational consultancy focused on scaling private businesses safely. He believes his resume of building 4 previous businesses from publishing, investment banking to software in Europe and the States gives him a unique set of skills and a sense of humor. He remains a competitive masters track & field athlete and in 2012 was ranked #2 indoors in the world for his age at 400m.

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