Pro tip: flex your hiring muscles to put your company building efforts into overdrive.
When you’re aiming to build a fast-growing enterprise, you have to work from the bottom up. Don’t overspend on fancy office space when you can start out remote; don’t go on a hiring frenzy until you’ve identified your unmet needs. And, whatever you do, don’t start out by pitching your product before you have a semblance of a plan. The key to a sturdy business is to establish, early on, the policies and structures that will get you from point A to point B and point C with as few rehab projects as possible. A sound foundation is less likely to crack over time–or, worse, cave in under the weight of your growing company.
Still, while every venture is different, you can always follow blueprints from the business people who have turned their ideas into veritable skyscrapers. One pro tip: You’ll need a reliable team that’s familiar with operating amid ambiguity and has firsthand knowledge of running a fast-growing company. Even then, growth can get away from you, so slot in quality-assurance checks along the way. Step back as you pick up speed. Don’t fear tweaking the design you once envisioned. So long as your foundation is solid, you can do anything.
Now, don your hardhats, grab your power tools–and let the business-building begin.
Grow Your Own Way
Be it a burst pipe or a wiring issue, hiccups abound in any building project. Here are some strategies–from meditation to macromanagement–for overcoming obstacles.
Scott Curley Co-CEO
FINISHLINE TAX SOLUTIONS
“It’s important for us to not be rigid. We’re constantly looking for ways to be more efficient and more innovative to maintain a fluid operation through which we may pivot at a moment’s notice. That’s helped us adapt to the kinds of changes that fast growth commands.”
Plano, Texas-based tax resolutions firm FinishLine is a 2022 Inc. 5000 honoree.
Kaleda Connell CEO
“Let everyone be a grownup. We don’t micromanage or have many meetings. We trust that everyone will get the work done that they need to get done, and if they don’t, it’s very apparent, as we are a small team. We reward on the basis of a job well done and not on tenure. We are also very clear that we are a team, not a family.”
Kilo, a Royal Palm Beach, Florida-based management software maker for gym owners, is a 2022 Inc. 5000 honoree.
Michael Ly CEO
“Make sure your team is on the same page and laser-focused on problem areas that may be slowing down the process. Often the founder is the person who becomes the slow cog in the wheel. I don’t get out of the way; I’m the accelerant.”
Reconciled, a virtual bookkeeping and accounting services company headquartered in Burlington, Vermont, is both a Power Partner Award winner and an Inc. 5000 honoree for 2022.
Abeer Raza Co-founder and CMO
“Strategies and revenue channels can fail from time to time, and campaigns can stop yielding results. As such, we’ve always tried to grow our revenue streams horizontally as well as vertically, to be ready if and when some of our drivers stop performing; a new revenue driver fills the gap to keep our momentum strong.”
TekRevol, a Houston-based digital solutions provider that develops custom software and mobile apps, is on the 2022 Inc. 5000.
Charis Jones Founder and CEO
“I have a life recipe that works well for my productivity and the growth of my company. It’s simple but not easy. It’s meditation. A healthy mindset and laser focus are among the strongest tools a CEO can have. Meditating every morning for a minimum of 15 minutes allows space, clears the way for sharper decision making, and ultimately increases my overall ‘unfuckwithability.’ ”
Sassy Jones, a Richmond, Virginia-based jewelry and accessories brand, landed on the Inc. 5000 list in 2020 and 2021.
David Kern President
KERN TECHNOLOGY GROUP
“The defense industry has huge barriers to entry. From managing security clearances to obtaining government approval for your accounting system, there were many ‘frogs’ that needed to be eaten if we wanted to overcome these challenges. We identified these pain points and knocked them out as soon as we could. That allowed us to jump on opportunities when we found them.”
Defense industry service contractor Kern Technology Group, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has made the Inc. 5000 for each of the past three years by “eating frogs,” a term coined by productivity consultant Brian Tracy, based on a quote by Mark Twain, that refers to tackling potential roadblocks swiftly.
More than 80%
of CEOs say that scaling their business is their primary goal. (Source: 2022 Inc. 5000 CEO Survey)
Hire Your Heroes
Surround yourself with the right people, and breaking new ground will be easier than you think. Here’s how to find–and keep–that talent.
Cheryl Gentry CEO
GLOW GLOBAL EVENTS
“Hire for attitude and train for skill. It’s much easier to teach new employees the skills they need to do their jobs than it is to change their attitudes. Hire candidates with the right attitude, and then train them in the specifics to excel in their roles. This will save you time and money in the long run.”
Glow Global Events, a New York City-based event planning company, made the Inc. 5000 list in 2020.
Liz Steblay Founder and president
“A part-time CFO propelled our business by analyzing profitability metrics and suggesting tweaks to our pricing and business model. A sharp executive assistant will expand your capacity as a founder to get so much done as well.”
ProKo Agency, a Del Mar, California-based HR firm, was on the Inc. 5000 list in 2021.
Chanie Gluck Founder and CEO
“As a fast-growing company, we don’t have time to train leaders on how to lead. Experienced leadership is a must. Find those people, pay them well, and watch them thrive.”
4D Global, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based medical-billing staffing company, is a 2022 Inc. 5000 honoree.
of founders say that founding and retaining top talent is the biggest obstacle to growing their company. (Source: 2022 Inc. 5000 CEO Survey)
Take It From Them
When in doubt, look to advice from the building pros who’ve been there, done that.
Anthony Coombs Founder
“In the early days of my company, we ran into an unenviable problem: We didn’t have enough inventory to fulfill orders. I went out on a walk and came up with a novel solution: a waitlist. Because we were up front with the situation, fewer than 1 percent of consumers on the waitlist canceled their orders. We eventually fulfilled every one. The takeaway? The waitlist created a sense of FOMO among people, and getting off the waitlist was almost as exciting to them as getting their package.”
Coombs’s Santa Monica, California-based underwear subscription company landed on the Inc. 5000 in 2021.
Mackey McNeill Founder
“Managing, communicating, and acknowledging the stress of change isn’t for the faint of heart. While I thrive on change, most people do not. Letting the team know why we must switch gears makes it easier, as does listening to their frustrations, even when you can’t take them away. For me personally, breathing and meditation help. So does staying grounded in our why and in my belief that the universe is always conspiring for my highest good, even when what is coming at me is something I would have never chosen.”
McNeill’s Bellevue, Kentucky-based financial growth coaching and CFO advising firm is on the 2022 Inc. 5000.
Norm Brodsky Entrepreneur-in-residence
BIRTHING OF GIANTS
“When my first Inc. 5000 company, Perfect Courier, was growing fast–covering 17 states and booking more than $100 million in sales in just six years–it was easy to think that everything I touched would turn to gold. That all changed when that company crashed along with the stock market in 1987. One habit I picked up from that catastrophic business failure is this: Whenever I sit down at a meeting with my trusty yellow legal pad, I write ‘stupid, stupid, stupid’ on the first page, because I know there are other–sometimes better–ideas in the room.”
Brodsky has founded three Inc. 5000 companies and today serves as entrepreneur-in-residence at Birthing of Giants, a fellowship program for owners of fast-growing businesses.
Paul Goldman Founder and CEO
“Even when we were just a couple of people, we always thought of ourselves as a large team and tried to mimic larger company processes. It helped by training us as we grew–kind of like a vision-boarding strategy.”
Muserk, a Nashville-based global rights management company for music and video content, is a two-time Inc. 5000 honoree, for 2021 and 2022.
Register for a free account and get Inc. Australia Today, our daily newsletter digest curated for entrepreneurs.