Scale

Build a team.

Define a future.

Create a plan to get there.


I was listening to an interview of Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, on a podcast.  If you know anything about his story, you know why I am a big fan.  He was a serial entrepreneur that built and sold businesses out of a need he saw that wasn’t being filled.

After immersing himself in the culture of Argentina on a vacation and becoming familiar with the challenges facing villagers there, he decided to address one of the problems.  Foot borne diseases were having a profound effect and getting shoes on the feet of children was a simple solution.

His idea?  Create 250 pairs of shoes, sell them to his friends, and use the profit to provide another 250 pairs of shoes to children on his next visit to Argentina a few months later.  To say that this model was a success, would be a wild understatement.  His buy one, give one away model has been replicated by many others, given him the opportunity to create multiple other product lines of his own, and is responsible for 60 million children receiving free shoes around the globe.

Building businesses around a transcendent purpose to meet a clear and existing need, may be the most profound and lasting impact of his business.  He has changed the way that thousands of other people are running their businesses, which is affecting millions.

He was asked in the interview about how he scaled the business from 250 to 60,000,000 pairs.  They wanted to know what his three most crucial hires were along the way.  

1. Someone to oversee Sales - he rightly identified that being the visionary and evangelist who could tell the story is very different than the professional art and science of selling.  A person to really grow the business.

2. Someone to oversee Production - his stumbling around to figure out how to produce 250 pairs was inefficient, expensive, and not within his sweet spot of ability.  Once sales started to grow the volume, he had to get a key hire to produce all that work.

3. Someone to Manage - the skill set and abilities of the type of person it takes to launch a business (an entrepreneur or visionary) is the exact opposite set of skills and abilities it takes to manage a team and business over time.

In order to get your business started, you had to have a vision, an idea, and a plan.  You had to sell the concept, produce the work, and manage the process.  At one time your org chart had your name in every box.  

But if you are going to really scale the business successfully, you are going to have to balance opportunity with risk, trust the courage of your convictions, and…

  • make crucial hires, realizing that there are others better suited to manage those key functions
  • give them the responsibility and the authority to do what they can do better than you
  • focus your time on supporting the team, looking for next opportunities, and overseeing all of the growth

This is a familiar and ancient path. 

We exist to help others find and successfully move down that path.

Is it a journey your business is ready to take?

This is exactly what we are going to be discussing on Oct. 11th at Hotel Emma.  (see details HERE)

 

Consider

  • Does your business have your name in all the key boxes?
  • Have you hired the key people to run the key functions of your business as you have grown?
  • Have you hired competent team members that can move into a management level oversight of their functional area?
  • Are you getting out of the way to allow them to do that?