Login or signup
36

What High-Growth CEOs Do Differently
 

Want to build a fast-growth business? An expert explains the four aspects of your business you should be focusing on.

Jim Schleckser, advisor for CEO Project

Jim Schleckser, advisor for CEO Project

Advertisement

Business coach and consultant Jim Schleckser has spent years trying to understand how start-up and small business CEOs budget their time. Not suprisingly, the best CEOs--the ones that are able to build highly profitable, fast-growing companies--had a lot in common.

As part of the CEO Project, a boot camp for entrepreneurs, Schleckser advises CEOs and company founders on the most important areas of their business to focus on. At the core of his advice, Schleckser believes CEOs need to put the blinders on and focus on what truly drives growth. Here are the core components Schleckser says you should focus on.

Business Model

"Time spent on your business model drives growth," says Schleckser. Most important, CEOs should aim to increase the proportion of recurring revenue in their businesses.

"Lock revenue each year," he says. "And when you decide to sell your business, you'll get higher offers."

Schleckser also challenges CEOs to raise prices. "Pricing drives profitability," he says. "I recommend you go home and raise your prices 10 percent."

Lastly, CEOs need to have a product so strong, he calls it the "mafia offer," an offer your customers can't refusse.

Talent

Schleckser believes all CEOs need to add  Chief Talent Officer to their title.

"Better players on the field means better performance," Schleckser says. The silver lining of the recession was that plenty of talented workers are looking for jobs--now is a good time to snatch up great employees at a reasonable price.

"You're able to get talent now that you couldn't get years ago," he says. "You need to be out there looking for talent all the time. Put a few of the A-players in; it's like magic in changing the business performance."

Process

What seperates good companies from great companies is the ability to differentiate their brand based on better processes. What does that mean in practice? Schleckser advises CEOs to always be developing new product lines, adding value to current processes, eliminating waste, reengineering processes, and standardizing methods.

"Go the extra mile," he says. "Design processes that fulfill promises to your clients."

Leadership Approach

At the beginning of the company's life cycle, CEOs are involved in all aspects of the business. But as the company grows, the CEO needs to be able to defer power to managers.

"It feels great to close a sale," says Schleckser, "but if a CEO is out selling, he's not doing his job."

The point is to foucs on the aspects that will drive future growth, and that often means taking the CEO out of his or her comfort zone.

IMAGE: Getty
Last updated: Oct 5, 2012

Must-read stories from the Inc. 5000
The Full List
The Fastest-Growing Company in America, Fuhu, Makes a Kids Tablet
One Thing Inc. 5000 Companies Have in Common: Performance
The Psychological Price of Starting an Inc. 5000 Company
The Ten Largest Inc. 5000 Companies
Productivity Secrets of Top Women CEOs
IPO Advice from Inc. 5000 CEOs
Facts & Figures of the Inc. 5000
Methodology



Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Comment and share features
EMAIL
PASSWORD
EMAIL
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
PASSWORD

Or sign up using: