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40 Things Every Start-Up Should Do To Scale Up


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A must read for everyone - from frontline employees to senior executives to get aligned in contributing to the growth of a start-up. Based on 'Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the Rest Don't (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)' by Verne Harnish, this slideshare shares practical one-line approaches on building an industry-dominating business.

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40 Things Every Start-Up Should Do To Scale Up

  1. 40 THINGS EVERY START-UP SHOULD DO TO SCALE UP From the book ‘Scaling Up’ by Verne Harnish
  2. 1 Hire Fewer People, But Pay Them More
  3. 2 No Team Can Be So Big That It Can’t Be Fed With 2 Pizzas 
  4. 3 If more than one person is accountable, then no one is accountable, and that’s when things start falling through the cracks. 
  5. 4 Hire people who don’t need to be managed, and regularly wow the team with their insights and output. 
  6. 5 Leaders must hire people who are better than them. 
  7. 6 Heads of Business Units need to lead as if they are individual CEOs.
  8. 7 Use the Lean technique - Eliminate time wasted on activities that don’t add value for customers / clients.
  9. 8 The cost of a bad hire is 15x his or her salary (according to TopGrading)
  10. 9 You need a strange culture and strange strategy to differentiate your firm in the marketplace. 
  11. 10 It’s better to do 3-4 hours of interview instead of spending hundreds of hours of headaches if you hire the wrong person 
  12. 11 Failure to develop sufficient leadership is one of the three biggest barriers to growth 
  13. 12 Focus on eliminating or delegating tasks that drain you. 
  14. 13 Great Managers discover what is different about people and capitalise on it 
  15. 14 Onboarding needs to be a celebration. Throw a party for people who join the company instead of doing it when they leave
  16. 15 Modern Careers are like rock climbing where top does not have to be the goal. Getting across the rock face or reaching another spot can be more exciting & rewarding. 
  17. 16 Organise your employee handbook into sections around each Core Value
  18. 17 Deadlines cannot be an excuse for making mistakes. Be quick but don’t hurry! 
  19. 18 Identify your one-phrase strategy which represents key lever in your business model that drives profitability and helps you choose which customer desires to meet and which ones to ignore.
  20. 19 A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference that it can preserve.
  21. 20 If everyone can accomplish one thing in addition to his or her daily job, that’s a dozen improvements every quarter, or hundreds.
  22. 21 Knowing what trends are going to shake up your industry — and having a plan for dealing with them — will help you stay ahead of the competition
  23. 22 Quarterly Theme is a fun motif you can use in your internal marketing to rally everyone around achieving your Critical Number.
  24. 23 Senior leaders need to be in the market 80% of the week, either figuratively or literally.
  25. 24 • What should we start doing? • What should we stop doing? • What should we keep doing? 3 questions you should ask your recent hires. 
  26. 25 • How are you doing? • What’s going on in your industry/ neighborhood? • What do you hear about our competitors? • How are we doing? 4 questions leaders should ask clients in person (not on a survey). 
  27. 26 Share insights from conversations with clients at the executive team’s weekly huddle. Don’t bog down the process with a bunch of written reports. 
  28. 27 Whichever competitor has the most market intelligence, and uses it, wins.
  29. 28 All executives and middle managers should have a coach (or peer coach) holding them accountable for behavioral changes.
  30. 29 Make sure that the Core Values, Purpose, and Priorities are posted throughout the company. These can be displayed on walls, floors, ceilings or even in the boardroom. 
  31. 30 Most matters can wait for the daily huddle or the weekly meeting. Bigger issues, which necessitate getting everyone in a room for a few hours, can be addressed during the monthly management meeting. 
  32. 31 Avoid checking up on whether someone did something the previous day. Looking forward is great management; and looking backward is micromanagement. 
  33. 32 Line up all your meetings in a day instead of spreading them over in a week. 
  34. 33 Have your CFO give you a cash report everyday. Observing the sources of cash flowing in & out on a daily basis gives real insight into your business’s financial model. 
  35. 34 Find ways to speed up & move cash more quickly through the business. Eg. Specify a due date on the invoice rather than include the standard due in 30 days. 
  36. 35 10% (profit) is the new breakeven. Once you add new labor and profitability drops, hold labor costs steady and grow back to 15% profit. Keep repeating the cycle. 
  37. 36 Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash flow is king.
  38. 37 Midsize businesses should target at minimum a 30% return on net assets.
  39. 38 Success belongs to those who have these two attributes: 1.  An insatiable desire to learn 2.  An unquenchable bias for action
  40. 39 And along the journey, there is a set of habits — routines — that will make the climb easier. “Routine sets you free”
  41. 40 And lastly, whatever you do, avoid doing everything all at once. One step at a time.
  42. Thanks & Keep In Touch! Creator: Kanchan Lad | @Socialpaparazzi Any questions? You can find us at: @hmarketer |
  43. Credits Special thanks to all the people who made and released these awesome resources for free: ▧ Presentation template by SlidesCarnival ▧ Photographs by Unsplash ▧ Backgrounds by Pixeden