Thursday, October 29, 2009

Key Steps Along the Path to Growth

I am presenting a breakout session in Orlando on Friday afternoon that focuses on the key decisions that business owners need to make along their journey to grow their company. For most, I see five major areas that tend to be the "big rocks" that need a lot of work and are hard to overcome. We will focus on those areas and try to identify important considerations that company leaders need to work through in order to leave the plateau that so many end up stuck on as they hit the wall with these things. Here is my list of the major hurdles to overcome:

1. Transitioning into a sales organization. Hiring your first sales person is a challenge. Managing sales people is an adventure. Running a sales organization is mind numbing.

2. Supporting your sales team with quality and consistent marketing. Once you actually find a good sales person and build a team, there has to be a system to keep the pipe full of opportunities and prospects for these guys to chase.

3. Building process and actually executing them. It really is the 3 P's - process, policy and procedure. You can't grow without a consistent plan in place on how your business will operate day after day to do the right things right every day.

4. Developing a bench of leadership. This is necessary in a lot of areas, but once you reach a certain point there is not nearly enough "you" to go around. When you grow to the point of needing to build practices - you need leaders. When you begin to hand off responsibility for areas of the business - you need leaders. Your management team needs to be built with - you guessed it - leaders.

5. Building strategic relationships. This is THE single MOST important differentiator I see between technology companies today. Most seem to believe that the vendors and distributors are the enemy. The reality is, I know of no successful growing company who takes that approach. Sure you can grow to a point all on your own, but the fast growth and sustainable companies understand this in spades. It is their secret weapon. It is the competive advantage in the marketplace. Relationships are the thing that separate the men from the boys.

There is a lot more we will cover, but this gives a general overview of what I have observed are the key factors for most technology company leaders to get under their control. Are you successful in these areas? If so, I want to meet you because you are exactly the kind of company we would love to get into HTG. If not, I want to meet you too because you need to be involved in HTG to learn from your peers how to overcome these obstacles. Either way, I hope to see you at 3PM on Friday in the Scribe room!

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