One of our core strengths is business intervention, which ultimately leads to the question “Really, how do you do that?”

In one sentence it is: Stopping a business from going off a cliff or snapping them out of a period of no growth.

In Franchising, I’ve seen 30 businesses with the exact same business model, marketing materials, etc who all go through these various sticking points. One of the most interesting parts is their sticking points were at very similar revenue points (+/-200K on businesses over 3 million in revenue). It’s something that has fascinated me on how clearly defined these transition points are.

Businesses have major sticking points as they start to grow. The challenge is each sticking point requires a completely different skill-set to power through. Most people gravitate to one of the skill-sets and need to learn the other two.

The three major sticking points that are critical to growing your business:

  • Mastering Sales and the Sales Process – Miss mastering the sales process, and you don’t have a business you only have an idea. If you’re great at sales, there is no reason you should make under 100K a year. Without sales, none of the other inflection points happen.
  • Balancing sales and operations – There are only so many hours in the day, and working through this sticking point means you find a way to leverage those hours. This shows up in flat revenue growth or eroding client retention.
  • The transition to leadership – It’s really rare organizations ever get through this sticking point. Leadership is completely removed from the sales/operation process, and they are there to solve strategic issues. They have talented people working and they could leave for 2 months and the company would continue to grow.

Master these three sticking points, and you can grow into a 5 million dollar company. However, most don’t. 80% of businesses never make it through the first step of mastering sales and the sales process. According to a survey by Business Know How, 4% of small businesses reach over 1 million in sales. (Mastering sticking point 2 would take a good portion of businesses over 1 million in sales).

The first step to working through the sticking points is identifying them. Here a few things to look for in your business and questions to ask yourself:

Mastering the sales process:

  • Do I know my return in investment for each activity?
  • Is my closing rate/conversion rate above industry average?
  • Am I getting enough appointments/leads coming?
  • Do I know how to adjust these up and down?
  • Am I confident at every step along the sales process?
  • Do I have any fears that are holding me back when selling?

Balancing Sales and Operations

  • Am I spending too much time in operations to grow my company?
  • Is my retention rate or customer satisfaction score decreasing?
  • Am I losing more business than I am creating on a monthly basis?
  • What activity am I doing that is the least efficient?

Transition to Leadership

  • Could I leave for a month and the company would continue to grow?
  • What processes are the least efficient and need fixed?
  • Are there places in my business I need to innovate?
  • Where will the next million dollars of growth come from?

See what questions most apply to your business right now and where you are at. It’s key to know what you need to work on to get to the next level. If you don’t have issues with any of the above, congratulations you have a business with over 5 million in revenue! If you don’t have that, then take a closer look and see which area you are struggling the most with.

Our strength at Expect Success is helping companies get through each of these sticking points the fastest way possible with the highest ROI.