Scaling your business?

Scaling your business?

Scaling your business? Why a coach can be invaluable for success

I meet numerous founders who turn to heavy tomes to find inspiration and advice on how to get the best from their team and themselves when scaling.

However, despite what they learn from books they all say that it’s especially hard to inspire ‘ordinary’ people to deliver something extraordinary. So where should you start?

Look in the mirror
It’s a good idea to consider what you need to successfully deliver the strategy. Ask yourself ‘What are you great at and how have they helped you achieve what you have?’ and ‘What are the things you aren’t so good at but need to be great at to scale?’

Such honesty helps leaders see how they must develop to deliver their ambition.

Do a gap analysis
As you work through the skills you and your team has, and align them to the plan, you will uncover the gaps in the skills set. Sometimes these can be addressed by training, sometimes new hires, or filled by freelancers or agencies that specialise in an area like marketing.

Test your assumptions
It’s crucial you test your assumptions. Make sure the team you’ve identified is capable of meeting new standards.

You should be asking if they can create a flawless customer experience that can be scaled? Do they show signs of being extraordinary?

If it’s unclear and you think you’ve run the right tests, then you have to ask if they are the right people to have in place as you scale. Can they care take the business while you crack on with scaling, or do you need to make some tough decisions?

The value of a coach
In my experience, you will probably decide that you need to keep a solid team in place, perhaps replace or reassign a few members of the team, and combine this with experts who can help and oversee a particular area of focus like operations or sales, and external help in the shape of a coach.

Look for experience: A coach will have scaled a number of businesses and have a wealth of experience to spot the problems, pitfalls and missed opportunities. It’s this experience that will give you valuable, clear and immediate feedback.

Look for someone who will hold you accountable: A great coach will set out exactly what the first 30, 60, 90 days of your plan needs to look like and what it must deliver, and they will hold you to it. They will make you take on the big tasks that will make a genuine difference.

Look for accreditation: Always look for an accredited coach as it is a sign that they set and adhere high quality standards and conform to a code of practice.

Look for Chemistry Coaching relationships are built on trust so be sure to meet them a few times and pose challenges to check you have personalities that complement each other. You need to know they will push you to new heights, not push you to the brink of despair.

Look for referrals: Don’t forget that a coach won’t get new business unless they can show they help businesses like yours succeed. Referrals will help you find out how they will be a strategic partner.

Bottom line is that with great leadership to oversee the strategy, anything is possible, and with a coach on side you can achieve it.

 A more detailed version of this blog appeared on Sage Advice here

Jon Kandiah
Jon Kandiah

Having spent 25 years in senior executive leadership roles, transforming large-scale businesses such as EE, T Mobile, Orange and Virgin Mobile (which achieved £500m revenue in 5 years and a £850m flotation); I have developed a range of tried-and-tested strategies, coaching and mentoring techniques that will equip your business and team with the skills necessary to scale up.