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Are you asking the right questions to scale your business?

by on September 25, 2015

mountain-climbing“We have the answers, all the answers.  It’s the questions we do not know.”

Most of the clients I work with are extremely sharp.  They know an awful lot about their business, their market, and their technology.  With perseverance and tenacity they will find the answers.

I engage with them to make sure they’re working on the right question.  Once they get the questions right, the answers tend to appear.

For instance, when it comes to strategy the question that needs answering is, “Can you state your firm’s strategy simply – and is it driving sustainable growth in revenue and gross margins?”

Strategic planning

Strategic planning encompasses two different and distinct activities: strategic thinking and execution planning.

Strategic thinking requires a few senior leaders meeting regularly.  Weekly is ideal.  And it’s a meeting separate from the standard executive team meeting because it’s so easy to get focused on working “in” the operational aspects of the business.  A separate meeting allows the senior team to focus on working “on” the business.

Execution planning requires a larger team focused on implementing the strategy.  This includes setting specific annual and quarterly priorities, outcomes and KPIs.

Mountain Climbing

Scaling a business is like climbing a mountain.  The summit is your ultimate goal.  That ultimate goal can be anything; an IPO, a market leader, selling the company for your Magic Number.  As you climb the mountain there are stops or camps along the way, generally coinciding with changes in terrain.  Each leg of the climb is focused on getting from one camp to the next.  Along the way there are adjustments to be made based on the conditions of the mountain.

When I’m climbing a mountain the focus becomes very acute: the very next step.  Each step has to be good and solid or there won’t be another one.  I change my focus from looking at the summit to watching my foot land solidly in the next step.

Everything between my next step and the summit are just paths that meander following the landscape of the terrain.  I have to adjust my course and direction based on what works best for me.  It may be going over a boulder or around a steep incline, but there are decisions to be made with every step.


Implementation of the strategic planning process will result in feedback.  You’ll get data, advice, help, suggestions, direction, even criticism that will help you constantly adjust and move forward while continually enhancing your knowledge, abilities, and skill sets.

But once you receive feedback, you have to be willing to respond to it.

Auto Pilot

Airplanes flying on auto pilot set course for the destination, their summit, and then constantly make course corrections.  The feedback the plane is getting is that it’s “Off Course.”  In fact, the plane will be “off course” more often than it is “on course” yet the plane will still reach its destination – just by continually taking action and adjusting to the feedback.

The same is true with our businesses.  All we have to do is focus on our ultimate goal (the summit), take action (the very next step), and respond to the feedback.  If we do that diligently enough and long enough, we will eventually get to our goals and achieve our dreams.


If you’re wondering how you build a company that you can sell for a premium in a few years, contact me to discuss the Valuation Amplification Process.

I also invite you to download the white paper and learn the 5 step process on How to Quickly Increase Your Valuation: a Proven 5 Step Process.


From → Strategy

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