Are you looking to grow your business? If so, you are only going to be able to do so much going it alone. But how do you make it successful? How do you make it larger and do the things that big businesses are doing when you’re still small and don’t have all those resources?
In boxing terms, you’ve got to fight at a higher weight class, and that’s daunting. How do you get bigger? How do you make sure that you’re fighting at the next class up and still being competitive? It means being really good at what you are because you’re going to have challenges at the higher levels, at that bigger weight class. How do we make that happen?
Here are five specific ways you can use to fight at that higher weight class, to compete with the big boys and to step yourself up. As you earn the right to hold your own at the higher level, you’ll be invited to do more and more higher level things. You’ll step up into that next level. You’ll earn the financial resources which will allow you to build the team and to fully fill that next weight class up, and you can start to look to a higher level. The key is to always be stretching and getting to that next level. Here’s things you can do to stretch yourself to the next level.
Grow Your Business
#1 Teamwork and delegation. To grow your business, build a team around you. Look to delegate the things that are not your core competency. You want to be focusing on the things that you are best at, the things that work great for you and the things that you really have a special talent at. Get all of your energy focused on the things that you do best. What unique skills do you have? What unique products can you create? What can you and your current team do better than anyone? What can you each do very well?
Get everybody focused on what they do best and start delegating non-core tasks and things that are eating up time that aren’t part of your strength. You’ll start seeing that you’re moving to that higher level. You’re doing better and better work because you’re focusing on what you’re great at. This is going to allow you to compete at a higher level.
#2 Partnerships. Partnerships are scary. I spent a lot of my time forming partnerships, bringing businesses together, getting multiple people to work together in a way that makes economic sense, and it’s challenging. You have to blend a lot of different requirements, but it can be done, and it can be done artfully. The key to grow your business with a partnership is getting off to the right foot, having the right understanding, having everybody understand what the other(s) are doing, and building the right team.
You don’t have to be scared because there’s been some partnership failures. They can be built correctly, and they can be done very well. Think of Bill Gates and his company. Think of Apple. All of these have involved partnerships, and there are countless others where one plus one equals so much more than two. The specialization and the combination of skills has allowed companies to grow exponentially. Partnerships can be great, but they need to be done right. Make sure you spend the time and energy to build your partnership right.
#3 Joint ventures. Partnerships are typically when two or more people are working together for an entire company. I think of joint ventures as being different. Joint ventures are when two or more people or companies come together for a specific project. You may have your own company and somebody else may have their own company, but you may come together for a particular project or venture to grow your business.
You may find you can get a lot of those synergies that you see in a partnership, a lot of that economic specialization and growth, and ability just by coming together on a project. Think about how you can combine your skills with those of another on particular projects to get more. Maybe there are two speakers coming together to put together an event involving a couple of other speakers. It could be two people doing a marketing project together — an accountant and a lawyer marketing together or a programmer and a website design person working together. There are lots of different ways joint ventures can be structured, but it could be a great way to add more economic value, and something you should be looking for.
#4 Alliances. Maybe you can work with another company and use their marketing database. You can sell into their existing infrastructure, and they can give you a leg up. You can come up with an economic arrangement that allows you to both benefit from this. Maybe you can help each other go into a market, attend certain conferences together or do certain marketing activities together. How can you build something that’s bigger than either of you?
#5 Trading leads. How can you work with other businesses and trade leads back and forth? Maybe if you’re a speaker, the other speaker is finding conferences that you can speak at, and vice versa.
Maybe you’re seeing customers in your business that can be customers for somebody else. How can you help each other?
Take the Next Step
There are a lot of ways you can grow your business. There’s a lot of ways you can fight at a higher level than the weight class that you’re in. You need to be smart. It’s all about efficiency and strength. Looking back at the five tips, the first tip is really about getting your internal strength, and tips two through five above are about working with a team and building something bigger. What are you doing to combine with others to leverage each other’s uniqueness to get to a higher level?
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Teak Sato.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC (www.mcbrideforbusiness.com). His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment ( www.rshawnmcbridelive.com), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 418-0258.
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