When a person starts a company, they have to be prepared to switch out “hats” of their responsibilities all the time. That’s the nature of entrepreneurship. However, at some point, a person needs to start delegating those “hats”, because there are way too many for them to handle. Instead, the entrepreneur has to start focusing on new aspects that will help the company go hand-in-hand with its growth, and not try to catch up all the time. This is one of the main keys to successfully go through the period of hypergrowth.
I recently talked to Pauline Malubay, digital strategist and director of operations, the founder and CEO of Pauline Malubay Consulting, about setting up processes that help companies grow in a healthy, sustainable way. Pauline and her team are helping visionary female leaders with strategy, coaching, and implementation support so that they can be unstoppable. This blogpost covers a few of her brilliant tips on how to prepare yourself ahead of time for the period of hypergrowth and make it to the other side safely.
The first thing Pauline emphasizes is hiring ahead of time. If you wait with hiring until you actually need people, it probably will be too late to do anything about it, because by that point of time, you will already be burned out. While trying to manage everything yourself, it’s very easy to miss important opportunities for other projects that could have given you a lot more cash flow. Hiring people may be very terrifying, but you can try and use the ingenuity that all entrepreneurs have, and think about who might help you without you having to pay them for their work. You can pay them with something much greater than money – your knowledge and skills, and giving them the opportunity to develop and practice in the field they like, contribute to their portfolio, or even get into the rooms with people and companies they want to meet. Sometimes the exchange of skills and services can be the most beneficial thing.
Once you kick off and start getting cash flow, you have main processes in place, then you can bring specialists to turbo-grow your business. But if you’ll wait too long and there’s no systems and processes, and you just start hiring, you will most likely hire incorrectly. You might get the right person, but it will be extremely difficult to onboard them well so they become immediately productive in your business, because there’s no system of communication, processes and systems worked out, since you were doing all of it yourself. So make a habit of building those practices before you start needing them.
Don’t hesitate to ask other entrepreneurs about tools that they use. It can vary from the techniques of organizing their day, to actual software that can ease up your day tremendously. This will free up time for you to focus on PR, networking with people and sales, because when you’re a brand new entrepreneur, these activities should really be your main focus.
Operations are not sexy, but without them the whole business fails. Your zone of genius might be teaching, but no matter how much you would want to focus on just that activity, if you don’t have basic scheduling, mailing, communication etc. squared away, you will never be able to move from the point where you are right now, because it will be a complete chaos. So make sure to build a skeleton of operations that will prevent you from piles of tasks to dig through and from burning out, when you can grow and flourish.
Although all of those things mentioned above seem very mundane and boring, that’s what gives a kick-start to the company, and ensures a smooth and easy sail once you kick off from the shore. Build a strong boat first, and then successfully sail to the other side of hypergrowth!
If you are interested in learning more about preparing yourself for getting through hypergrowth in a controlled way, listen to the whole episode of the Genius Leadership podcast with Pauline here.
Stay tuned and be genius!