By Hayden Blackburn
Businesses can take various growth paths, but entrepreneurs, no matter stage or age, can benefit from some key tips to laying the foundation for a growth mindset and maintaining momentum.
1. Validate Everything From ideas to customer segments and markets, put strategies in place and dedicated effort into validating. If anything feels like an assumption, it is.
2. Be A Lifetime Learner Having a limitless but guided thirst for knowledge can open the door to finding inspiration from the most unexpected places. To me, this is a vital character trait of entrepreneurs. They can identify the learning opportunities with every experience and challenge they face.
3. Be A Big Picture Thinker It’s all about getting out of the minutiae daily. Schedule and have a process for big, long-term strategic thinking. Whatever you call it, make a habit of it. Connect dots where you didn’t once see them.
4. Don’t Go Alone: Build Community Even if you are a sole proprietor and have no staff members, it doesn’t mean you must always be a lone wolf. Create relationships with mentors, identify your trusted advisors and meet with peers who are open to sharing knowledge. Or you can even create a board of directors. Isolation removes opportunity to poke holes, get differing perspectives and eliminate assumptions.
5. Listen While you’re learning, spend time actively listening. Listen to potential customers, current customers, former customers, staff, partners and everyone else connected to your business.
6. Measure What Matters Filter any clutter you might be feeling by identifying key performing indicators. Find these for the activities that define and help you deliver your value proposition. Avoid the temptation of feeling like you have to know everything before moving forward.
7. Take Action Remember the moment you first took action and self-identified as an entrepreneur? Good. Now, repeat that every day.
8. Always Be Increasing Capacity Never miss an opportunity to invest time and resources into increasing the capacity of the most important functions of your business. Capacity-building can reap big rewards when you do it before it is even needed. Plan to scale and work to avoid the moment of panic when the big contract lands and the systems and processes aren’t in place for the smooth growth.
9. Delegate Effectively. You have your strengths, and you have your…”areas to improve.” Understand what is best to outsource, and hand it to the people smarter than you.
10. Eliminate Silos Silos within an organization create in-fighting and deter cross-departmental work, which hampers potential growth of the organization and team morale.
11. Be An Idea Machine My personal favorite. Pumping out idea after idea every time you are called on is a skill that allows your mind to explore new territory for your business as well as “wow” your friends. Push your mind to come up with as many ideas as possible in 10 minutes, and you start to flex its ability to do it on its own.
12. Build A Self Care Plan Make the commitment to attend to all the domains of your life. This isn’t about the mythical work-life balance you so often hear about. This is about how all areas of life, work, body, emotions, mind, relationships, and spirit, interact and impact your overall well-being. Just as you plan for your business, plan for yourself.
By: Brian Kendall
By: Courtney Dabney
The Foundry District will welcome a brand new distillery to the neighborhood when Blackland Distillery opens March 20. Founder Markus Kypreos. Photos courtesy of Hannah Lacamp. The Foundry District...
By: Courtney Dabney