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The evolving model - Scale vs Growth

Marketing, Strategy, Sales, Talent
Apr 26, 2022
Guy littlejohn interview
Guy Littlejohn
Founder at Facets
Building

Getting your business to scale beyond organic growth

Most businesses grow organically to start with - a mixture of business friends and family help you get to the stage where there are a handful of people servicing a greater number of clients. You stumbled across these clients and often these people. It was accidental, fortunate. Of course there was hard work, but people who don’t grow are because they shouldn’t be a leader. They are not a true business owner who sweeps people away with their passion. When you have to put yourself out there, validate a real market of unfriendlies, that's when you plan for scale.

That’s when it comes to game time. Winners win, and losers lose.

A full commercial model includes Sales, Partnerships, Marketing and Client Development. For any commercial gain there has to be operational support and the fundamental operators are people. So, talent is closely linked. Having a workforce plan running alongside a commercial plan is a key area we have done ourselves and now work with clients on.

When you have the 5 pillars of any commercial operation - sales, partnerships, marketing, client development and talent - all running in tandem, you have a revolving ecosystem that flexes its own worth in peace of mind.

You cannot lose. Get your proposition right in the eyes of your target audience - clients and candidates - and you have a bedrock on which to build.

You can shift your focus between the 5 touch points; like a DJ at his decks, turning up and down the beat to the feedback from the dancefloor. They don’t all need to be on full blast consistently. Like all DJs, you start off in your garage and eventually play at Pacha if you get it right. But that DJ probably already knows what the crowd wants to hear, even when live…they have a mathematical approach to their work.

You’ll get it wrong a lot in the first 12-18 months - all businesses do but the reason many businesses don’t make it past year two is because those founders didn’t learn. It is all down to the founder. 100% of the time in my eyes, too blinkered to see what that audience sees - too worried to strike with real conviction because they know how fortunate they were in those early days.

When you have a consistent machine working across all areas then you can scale, you can look at efficiencies - how do you have multiple clients per person, how do you keep headcount the same but increase revenue.

The answer? Experience. If you haven’t done it before and don’t know how to set and forget then you need people in the business who do.

Let them set a process for you, a repeatable process. Get them in the business whatever the cost. Ask them to create a 6 month road map of how they will succeed, if they’ve done it before they’ll take an hour to build you one. Get them to do this before you offer them the role.

Then you’ll know you can’t do it without them.

For context;

Sales = direct to your ideal customer profile - one to one

Partnerships = working with a businesses that doesn’t compete with you but has the same ideal customer profile - “one to one”

Marketing = generating inbound activity from organic or paid activity - “one to many”
Client Development = direct to the ideal customer profile you are already working with

Talent = attracting people - through push and pull - to your business

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