Breaking Through the Plateau: A Deep Dive into the Challenges of Small Business Growth
Hello everyone, I’m Doug Thorpe, your host for today’s discussion. As a seasoned observer of the business landscape, I’ve noticed a common trend among private small businesses. They often hit a plateau during their third phase of growth and expansion, struggling to break through to the next level of success. This has always intrigued me, and I’ve often wondered about the critical elements that these businesses might be missing to achieve further growth.
The Importance of Sophistication and Maturity in Business Growth
Joining me in this discussion are my esteemed colleagues, Lane Sloan and Rich Hall. Lane, in particular, emphasizes the importance of sophistication and maturity in a company’s planning, strategy development, and leadership to achieve the next stage of success. He mentions a program they have developed to address these critical elements.
Understanding the Four-Stage Growth Model
To better understand the challenges faced by businesses, I’ve developed a four-stage growth model. The first stage is the development stage, where cash, customers, and employees are limited, and planning is short-term. As businesses grow and bring on more employees, they need to focus on managing cash, improving operations, and developing a market value proposition. The takeoff stage is where businesses have the potential to really accelerate their growth, and leadership plays a crucial role here.
The Roundtable Solution
One solution for businesses at the pivot point in their growth curve is the roundtable format. Joining a roundtable or peer advisory group allows business owners to connect with like-minded individuals facing similar challenges. Rich shares his experience of taking over a roundtable that had seen a significant drop in participation. By focusing on topics that are truly relevant to the owners and their businesses, participation and referrals increased, leading to a more valuable and impactful roundtable experience.
Filling in the Gaps
In the takeoff stage, it’s crucial to fill in any gaps in knowledge or skills that may hinder business growth. We have developed a program with an enhanced agenda that includes sessions on topics like vision, mission, and strategic planning. These sessions are delivered in a convenient podcast format, allowing business owners to access the content at their convenience.
The Takeoff Titans Academy
The program we are putting together, called Takeoff Titans Academy, will consist of monthly four-hour sessions, with preparatory work provided in advance. We emphasize the importance of commitment and engagement from the CEOs participating in the program. The program is targeted towards businesses in the takeoff stage, typically with revenues between 6 to 8 million and around 20 employees.
The Importance of Leadership and Self-Awareness
We also discuss the importance of leadership and self-awareness in becoming a better leader. We introduce a four-piece framework for leadership development, which includes purpose, personality, persuasions, and proficiencies. Leaders need to understand their own values, beliefs, and skills in order to effectively lead others.
From Founder to CEO
Many businesses struggle to grow because the owner or founder fails to transition from being a founder to a CEO. They try to handle all aspects of the business themselves, becoming a bottleneck for growth. Leaders should consider hiring key executives to take on specific roles and responsibilities, allowing them to focus on their vision for the company.
Our Commitment to Small Businesses
We are excited about the Takeoff Titans Academy and our desire to help small businesses succeed. We believe that small businesses are crucial for societal growth and are committed to supporting their expansion. We invite listeners to provide feedback and join us in our mission to help small businesses thrive.
Leadership Powered by Common Sense
As the host of the podcast “Leadership Powered by Common Sense,” I offer coaching and advisory services to those interested in learning more about effective leadership. My approach to leadership is grounded in common sense. I believe that leadership is not about complicated theories or strategies, but rather about understanding and connecting with people. Whether you are a seasoned leader or just starting out in your career, my coaching and advisory services can benefit you.
Join me on this journey to better leadership and let’s help small businesses break through their growth plateaus together.
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Small business owners will hit an invisible wall that can stall the growth of the company. The key reason there is a wall is that owners need to shift from manager to leader. The question is, how to do that?
Doug Thorpe. Doug is a coach for CEOs and Senior Leadership Teams with 30 years of leadership experience. He is the president & CEO of Doug Thorpe Group. Doug is also a podcast host.
He helps owners understand the ways they need to reshape their thinking and attitude to make a successful break through the wall.
Learn how to move from Founder to CEO.
Doug Thorpe LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dougthorpe/
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