My client watched his business grow from two locations to seven in seven years.
On the surface, this isn’t a bad pace. But when we dig into the details, we see how the growth happened.
It started slowly, the first two stores were in operation for about five years before Store 3 and Store 4 opened within a year of each other.
The ownership is a frugal and methodical bunch. Conservative in finances, staffing, and decision making, overall.
They have deeply ingrained core values that serve as a strong foundation for the first chapter of their story.
Then construction started on Store 5 just as an opportunity for Store 6 popped up. The opportunity was too good to pass up, for sure.
Then a location they had long coveted in a nearby community came available. Store 7.
Suddenly, their financial frugality and strict staffing style was strained.
To be clear: nothing was out of control. But decisions needed to be made quickly and decisively. Systems that had worked previously were showing their flaws when it came to delegation, and ownership. The typical roundtable-discuss-wait-ponder-discuss-wait-discuss-decide process did not work at this new pace.
My client came to me expressing the tiring effects of such a fast-paced culture they found themselves in.
I asked what kind of advisory board they were consulting.
“It’s just us,” he said.
There it is. A critical weak point in the system of any company, especially one with the growth rate of this company.
The ownership board and managers had gotten so good at running a 2-3 location brand, that Stores 4, 5, 6, and 7 presented their own challenges. The company would need to operate differently. Supply chains are different. Finances are different. Staffing and training is different. Project management is different. Equipment servicing is different.
They had reached an important interchange that many entrepreneurs miss. When your company reaches these mile markers, it is imperative to consult outside perspectives. Those trusted advisors who can spot external threats and offer insights to navigate the changing tide.
It is not about giving up control or admitting defeat – in fact, it is just the opposite. A strong leader is able to identify their weakness and find someone to complement the missing piece. The partnership is powerful.
That’s why I advocate that you have an advisor in your corner.
Photo by G. Crescoli on Unsplash