No company can grow quickly unless its employees grow with it. So if you're hoping for rapid expansion, you should make sure that your managers are training their replacements right now.

Marjory Williams does just that at Laura Caspari/SHE, the chain of clothing stores she founded in 1979. Salespeople are trained by store managers, who are trained by area supervisors, who are trained by district managers. As a result, the company has a steady supply of managers available at all levels of the organization. The system has allowed Laura Caspari/SHE to grow to 18 stores in seven states and the District of Columbia, adding 8 new stores in one recent 12-month period.

The system works, says Williams, because everybody understands the thinking that lies behind it. "I let managers know that their jobs are not threatened by their deputies. People are rewarded by helping others to succeed."