Great Conversations at Step Up to Growing Your Business 

Stepping Up To Leading the Growth of Your Business on Tuesday was fun and energizing. The breakout groups were the high point where everyone shared suggestions and thoughts on the challenges small business face.  Thank you to for sponsoring the lunch. You are invited to join this smal lbusiness network.  But the one hour workshop was too short to get into deciding on a course of action.  We cover decisions that generate value in the two-hour workshop Step Up to Growing Your Business this Tuesday on August 23.

Here are the suggestions and ideas on the three BIG issues from the break out sessions:

Issue One: The complexity and rising cost of marketing without clear results

  • Give top priority to content for marketing since that is what makes you stand out
  • Focus marketing messages, promotion and social media on a consistent marketing theme
  • Keep the tools and steps to publish as simple as possible

Issue Two:  Hiring quality employees, managing turnover and rising wages

  • Hire in stages if you can before making the employee permanent.  Use probationary periods or internships before you make the candidate a permanent employee.
  • Have an on-boarding process so you have lots of opportunities to give feedback and determine the level of trust and confidence in the worker and the work.
  • For tech companies you may want to develop non-traditional recruiting and training processes. Develop a program to hire interns with diverse backgrounds from local colleges and train them for full time positions. The employees are more likely to be loyal because of the career support.  The positive contribution enhances the reputation of the company. The CraneWorks worked with a local tech services company using this hiring strategy and it helped manage turnover.

Issue Three:  How to Manage the Rising Costs of Commercial Rent?

  • The classic response to this issue is to purchase a commercial building. Owning a commercial building supports long-term business and financial strategies, such as retirement and securing financing for future growth.
  • When you negotiate a lease for commercial space build in the right to sublet space. Then you can sublet space to offset partial or the total cost of the lease payments.

In the two-hour workshop Step Up to Growing Your Business on Tuesday, August 23 from7 – 9 p.m. at NextSpace Berkeley use a framework to decide on the number one strategy to act on. 
 Our key topic will be how everything the company does supports revenue generation.

Experience the Steady Growth Approach at our August Events

You are invited to attend our events and network with other businesses and professionals dedicated to small business growth please register below our August events.  Thank NextSpace Berkeley and for their sponsorship of these events:

​Check out the details of each event and join us to network and explore business growth in the Bay Area
Lunch and Learn, 12 – 1 p.m. August 16
Stepping Up To Leading the Growth of Your Business
Network with other businesses and get strategies to sustain growth in theBay Area.
Click here to reserve your place

Evening workshop, August 23, 7:00 -9:00 p.m. Refreshments  served.
Step Up to Growing Your Business
Take away a big picture of growth opportunities for increasing revenue and growing long-term value.
Click here to register

Thank you to our sponsors:
NextSpace sponsor the training room and sponsor for lunch and evening refreshments
Register below:
We invite you to checkout and join, by clicking here 

What is Steady Growth?

When I describe The CraneWorks as a steady-growth company people come back with the question, “You mean slow growth?” What I mean by steady growth is determined by the CEO and leadership team. We believe that owners/entrepreneurs have to own their goals to succeed. When owners focus on stategic goals to iimprove cash flow management or to consistently market and promote products and services revenue growth rates can range from10 – 100% or more. That isn’t slow growth. Steady Growth is achieved through strategic thinking and action.

We encourage setting a range of goals and objectives with high and low targets to aim for and learn from.  Items to set goals for are pretty standard and include the external context:

  1. Annual revenue growth rates and objectives based on the market opportunities, industry trends and economic conditions
  2. Acquiring  financing, resources and settig a pace to implement
  3. Evaluating results financial and operating as well as achieving goals which may be social, economic or sustainable impact focused

Steady Growth Works for the Independent Business Owner:

  1. The company reaches for a stretch goal and set targets.  The emphasis in on taking the action steps that achieve end results while sustaining the core operations of the business. You only get results when you complete your strategic growth projects. 
  2. The rate of growth can be as aggressive or conservative as the CEO and leadership team decide and want to manage.  The point is to own the goal and work toward being within the growth target range. A good rate of annual growth may be around 20%, but frequently ambitious owners  frequentlyly reach for 40-60% revenue growth per year. At least one company in The CraneWorks group programs or an advising relationship will break out and hit 100% in the first year after finishing our programs and sustain growth at high levels. 
  3. The leadership team gets used to regular reviews of efforts to grow and improve rather than just report success and failure. When the leadership team sets and owns the goals and targets they frequently exceed the highest target.  Annual financial statement reviews helped two companies we worked with in 2015 recognize they had significantly exceeded their goals for 20% revenue growth goals.  If the company realizes they did not hit the target then the annual review leads focuses on improvements and new ideas to achieve goals and targets before launching the next growth project.

I am always thrilled when I hear from former clients that they keep reaching for new goals, delivering new products or services, deciding to restructure if required and making successful exits confident their decisions are right for them. 

​Here is my sketch for this week.