Rules of the Road Stage 1 Company

Written by Vicki Lauter on . Posted in Attracting Employees, Developing Employees, Retaining Employees, Stages of Growth

Getting focused on the right things at the right time spells success for any leader of a growing organization. Getting an entire team of people focused on the right things at the right time is what takes ‘good’ companies and makes them ‘great’.

Recent research has provided us with ‘rules of the road’ that help business owners focus on critical aspects of their company as they move through the different stages of growth.

As you read through the ‘rules of the road’ for a Stage 1 company, you’ll have a tool you can use to help your entire company begin to understand what is needed from everyone to succeed.

Stage 1 Leadership Rules of the Road – 1 – 10 employees:

Rule #1: Generate, Track and Preserve Cash

Do you receive a daily report that tells you how you are doing on your company key indicators? Do you have a simple budget and a 6 – 8 week rolling cash flow system to help you manage your company’s cash? Are you focused on getting new customers and increasing the transaction value and the frequency of those transactions to build your top line revenue?

Rule #2: Focus 80% of your resources on selling the 2 – 3 offerings with the best margins

Are you focusing 80% of your marketing, sales and customer service resources on your 3 top offerings? Are you tracking your ‘production output’? Do you know what your cost of goods and gross margins are on your products and service offerings sold?

Rule #3: Hire first for ‘how the person fits in with the team’ and second for skills

Do you have a clear profile of the criteria that makes a ‘good company fit’? Do you have clearly defined roles and responsibilities for all staff positions? Do you have a standard interview process that you use to screen new job applicants?

Rule #4: Embrace chaos – command the team and inspire the employees

Do you consistently set the company’s priorities and clearly communicate them to your staff? Have you clearly articulated the company’s vision for the future and regularly communicate it to your staff? Have you insured that your team has a clear mission, a clear set of instructions and practical goals to reach?

Rule #5: Establish a performance mindset, a communication feedback loop and employee development program

Have you established clear performance expectations with every employee? Do you have an employee skill development program in place? Do you consistently gather and give feedback to your employees?

One thing we have learned. What you don’t get done in your current stage of growth will simply not just ‘go away’. The ‘rules’ in each stage of growth need to be addressed and if they aren’t, you will face them again as you move to the next stage of growth.

Growing a business demands every minute of your energy, resources and brain power. The good news is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. By understanding your stage of growth, by knowing what the ‘rules of the road’ are for each stage of growth, you will have ‘headlights’ to help you navigate the curves and get ahead of the obstacles.



Want to know more or have more questions? Contact us, we’d be happy to help

The 7 Stages of Growth were developed by James Fischer, author of Navigating the Growth Curve. The Stages of Growth are based on a six year study of entrepreneurial companies in Colorado and California and interviews with over 650 successful CEOs to understand and decipher the patterns, the behavior and the characteristics of growth in entrepreneurial enterprises.



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