I've spent the last year fixing problems in my business--from improving internal processes to hiring the right people to improving the quality of our service and tracking the right data. And now that my company is functioning better than ever, the next step is clear: I need to scale this thing.
But while everyone talks about the value of scaling, let's be real: what entrepreneur actually has the time to focus on anything other than the inner workings of their business? If you're like me, you're wearing a million hats, working far too many hours per week, and constantly putting out fires.
Which is why I find events and conferences so valuable. They allow you to step away from your business, gain a fresh perspective, and focus on things you otherwise would never have the time to think about.
So when I found myself in this scaling debacle, I decided to attend an event that focuses on exactly that. SCALE is a high-level business growth retreat hosted by Allison Maslan--a serial entrepreneur, business coach, and author--that helps entrepreneurs in any industry scale their businesses. The catch is that this event is only open to business owners who are making over $500k in annual revenue. But whether you're pulling in over $500k or not, you can take these insights and implement them to scale your own business.
1. Choose one hat to wear
There are four main areas of any business: revenue streams, traffic, sales, and operations. Most entrepreneurs try to be the head of all four areas to their detriment.
Instead of trying to do it all yourself, identify which single area is your superpower. Are you a master salesman? Are you amazing at driving traffic to your offers? Choose one area and focus intensely on it. As you scale your business, your job is to manage your one superpower area while finding and hiring people whose superpowers lie in each of the remaining three areas.
Once you have those people in place, your next task is to replace yourself. The goal is to have four amazing people taking full ownership of each of these four areas of your business, so you can function as the CEO and visionary without getting bogged down in day-to-day minutia.
2. Hire forward
The cost of hiring the wrong person is 6-15x their annual salary. Yet too many entrepreneurs hire from a place of panic, desperation, and lack--resulting in the wrong hire.
Instead of hiring to alleviate your immediate pain points, hire for the next step of your vision. Hire to put someone in charge of an area of the business, not just to fill an overwhelmed capacity. When you hire forward instead of hiring out of panic, you're more likely to hire someone who uplifts your business, takes ownership, and creates more value than what their salary costs.
3. Use the Rule of 3
Maslan shared her "Rule of 3" that she uses to find and hire the right people for her business:
Interview three different candidates three different times.
Interview them at three different times of day and in three different settings.
Have three different people on your team lead each interview.
Do at least three reference checks of your potential hires.
Some people are great at interviewing but aren't the best fit for your team. By interviewing them in different places, at different times, with different people, you decrease the likelihood of hiring someone who is merely good at interviewing and doesn't particularly care about the position.
When you interview, look for candidates who ask deep questions and show an interest in growing the business.
4. Keep your eyes on the road
Imagine you're driving a car. You have the entire windshield in front of you with endless possibilities behind it. But if you're like most people, you're focused on the rearview mirror. The rearview mirror is a tiny window showing only what has already occurred, but we hold onto it so tightly that it prevents us from looking forward.
Are you obsessively looking in the rearview mirror? This is something that every entrepreneur is prone to do from time to time, but the important thing is being aware enough to catch yourself doing it and shift your focus back to the road ahead of you.