10 years ago

AWESOME article highlighting Salman Solutions’ client: Think Global Institute in azcentral.com.

Question: Scaling from a startup or new small business into a growing company can be really difficult. How is my energy best spent?

Answer: I have met many entrepreneurs who don’t really think of themselves as entrepreneurs. They just started doing something at which they were good, made some money, and then a business was born. If you find yourself in this position, then you should focus on some core concepts to be more strategic and purposeful with your business, enabling it to grow.

I spoke with Steve Haase, chief executive officer and co-founder of the Think Global Institute, about his best advice for business owners in this position. Think Global Institute is an organization that advises female entrepreneurs about developing strategies and tactics to overcome current challenges and ready their businesses for growth.

Together with co-founder Amy Scerra, Steve has worked with many business founders facing growth challenges both in the United States and worldwide.

Here is how he suggests you start moving forward:

Understand your cash flow. Cash is the fuel that keeps your doors open. So whether it is good, bad or ugly, know it and manage it.

• Manage your payables and schedule out payments in advance. Look beyond today and at what is due in weeks or months.

• Talk to payees and establish some terms that help you spread out payments to better fit your sales cycle.

• Review your basic financial reports every week. Watch for accuracy, discrepancies or outliers that could hurt your business.

• Note that revenue is good, but profitability is sustainable.

• Account for your taxes immediately. Every dollar will be taxed, so include that in all initial calculations and bookkeeping.

Know your bandwidth. Because you’re an entrepreneur, you often have to do 20 things at once. However, that isn’t a sustainable way to run your business.

• It’s OK to say no to people. Know your mission, vision, core competencies and product(s). Focus on those things.

• Not every opportunity is a good opportunity, even the ones that seem intriguing. Take the time to address how well they align with your goals.

Learn to sell well. This could be the most important thing you do for your business in the early growth stage. There is no time to slow down or take a break from sales. No one can sell better than the owner of a young business.

• Schedule sales activity every day. Make it a routine to move prospects.

• Don’t depend on others to get you the sales. Take initiative. If you’re uncomfortable, then take a class, get a coach and practice.

• Realize that social media and marketing activities are not selling. They are creating awareness. Selling is taking action to convert a prospect into a paying customer.

Think Global Institute offers a Phoenix program in partnership with the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. To learn more about it and gain more valuable insight into growing your business, visit ThinkGlobalInstitute.org.

The October/November program will include one-on-one-advising, group workshops, mentors and more to the selected businesses. The application deadline is Friday.

Sidnee Peck is director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU. Send questions to startupsidneeasu@gmail.com.

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