“For every entrepreneur dreaming of a big pay-day, selling their business or attracting investment, there are 5 fundamental mistakes that often get in the way.”
This is the conclusion of Martin Norbury, an award-winning business mentor and author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller, I don’t work Fridays. Martin, who has earned the badge The Scalability Coach, has first-hand-experience in growing businesses, and has advised companies across 30 different industry sectors. His SCALE Model was ultimately developed to help business owners choose what they do with their tomorrow.
Here, Martin explains the 5 fundamental mistakes that get in the way of business growth:
1. Lack of clarity about what the end goal of the business is and why it’s so important. Too many entrepreneurs make the mistake of starting a business without even considering how they’ll expand or exit. You may feel you’ll love your business forever and never want to do anything else, but the entrepreneurial urge that got you this far is likely to leave you yearning for something new.
2. Failure to make your end goal central to everything you do. Scale is all about congruence yet most entrepreneurs fail to communicate the big goal to the key people or fail to build processes into the business that are required for scale. If your business is always bespoke, always requires you to be involved and never systemised, you have a job not an exit-able business.
3. Not setting or monitoring key performance indicators that let you know if what you’re doing is getting you closer to your end game. You don’t need to have many measures in place but it pays to have a way to track progress and alert you to potential problems before they happen.
4. Not learning from your mistakes. Getting stuck in a “we’ve always done it this way” mind-set is a sure way to block growth and limit learning potential. A growing business is an evolving business. If you want to scale up and exit then you need to be dedicated to continuous improvement.
5. Not knowing when to let go, get help or step aside. Entrepreneurs are amazing business starters, idea generators and motivators who enjoy being creative and coming up with new ideas. For many scaling is boring at best and impossible at worst. If you’re a big picture person, the details, tweaking, fine tuning and systemisation of a scale up can lead to frustration. Knowing when to get help to reach the next stage is the sign of an enlightened and experienced entrepreneur.
Martin’s underlying SCALE philosophy ultimately answers one question: when and how to exit a business. Exit can represent a great many possibilities. Martin explains:
“Your goal could be to exit the business to get your ‘big pay day’, or to retire and pass on your legacy to someone else. Or it could be because you have fallen out of love with the work, have become a manager instead of a doer or simply have the entrepreneurial itch to start something new.
“Even if you intend to stay in your business for now, having a business that is ‘exit-able’ will make it more attractive to investors and will free up your time, so you no longer worry about the day to day work. Maybe you ‘don’t want to work on Fridays’ anymore or you would simply like your evenings and weekends back to spend time with your family. Perhaps there is a hobby or a heart’s desire that you have been putting off for too long and you can’t wait any longer. Whatever the reasons you have for being in business in the first place, being in a position to escape the clutches of business pressure, by scaling up effectively, is a wonderful place to be.”
In his new business book, I don’t work Fridays, Norbury explains why the entrepreneur is the wrong person to grow their business, and reveals a simple 5-step formula to give leaders confidence, a clear structure and process to follow, and a set of simple tools to help business owners achieve growth and realise their ambitions. His process has worked across 30+ industry sectors in the UK, and addresses the 5 errors by giving business owners a practical process for getting their ambition on track.