Do you want your company to thrive?
Do you want your company to grow?
These might seem like silly questions, but for some, the answer is no. For whatever reason, they are happy where they are and simply aren’t motivated to move forward.
Sometimes, the answers to the above questions are yes, but the person lacks the experience and tools to bring the desires to fruition.
My guess is, since you’re reading this article, you want your company to thrive and grow. To do that, you need to focus on the following areas of improvement 80 percent of the time.
1. Educate yourself.
So few people read after they leave college, but when you research the world’s richest people, you find that they read all the time. They are constantly learning new things.
As advancements in all areas of life continue to make changes in the way we as entrepreneurs run our businesses, it is important that we keep up.
Numerous times over the last few years, I’ve told my team I’m not the CEO to lead our company 12 months now, but I am committed to becoming that CEO. To do this, I read nine books a quarter, am in two mastermind groups and attend numerous conferences each year.
I actively focus on seeking out coaching and education that will help me break through my current stage of business and reach the next level of success. I would be doing myself — and my team — a disservice if I let this focus slip. I cannot expect growth if I am not constantly working on being the leader my company needs next year, or even 10 years, down the road.
Educating yourself as the leader is even more important the faster you want to scale.
2. Set the vision.
It is your job to set the vision for the company. What will this company be like three years, five years and 10 years from now? What new products or strategies will you develop? How will the culture be at your company 12 months from now?
You have to set the vision for the future of the business — this task can’t be delegated. If you aren’t on board and leading the charge, the company will go nowhere fast, which is why you have to spend time setting and managing the long term (three- to 10-year) vision for the company.
Related: 50 Rules for Being a Great Leader
3. Create the strategy.
As CEO, you have to help develop the strategy to make the vision become a reality. You don’t have to be an expert in all areas that require strategy, but you need to be involved in the planning or approval process for any areas that affect the overall long-term vision of the company. This can include items like goal setting, culture, sales and marketing, etc.
I personally assist with strategy development by holding monthly, quarterly and yearly strategy sessions with my leadership team and key contributors here in the office. I also have trusted mentors who walk me through vetting my ideas and ensuring I’m on the right track for tackling my growth goals.
Whatever stage of business you’re in, it is imperative you find someone who is at a stage or two above you and is willing to coach and advise you through common challenges you face at that level. Their experience will prove invaluable.
4. Watch your cash.
Your job as CEO is to make sure you never run out of money. This may seem like a no-brainer, but so few people truly have a handle on the financials of their business.
Even if you have a CFO, it is still your job to make sure you never run out of cash. Check in on your records thoroughly and often. If you want to be successful in the long run, you have to be aware of your cash flow now.
The remaining 20 percent of your month can be spent in the day-to-day work of the business or being the celebrity. It can be spent hanging with the team or creating content. But, the more you can live and manage the above four areas, the faster you will grow and, in most cases, the happier you’ll be.