"Gentlemen, I believe this exercise has been very useful and strategic. We have listed what needs to be accomplished for exponential growth. With the road map clearly before us, let's turn our thinking to three fundamental areas of focus that will propel us forward," I said. "These are: 1) Selecting the right priorities, 2) Deploying the most important resources, and 3) Implementing the most efficient processes. Let's now discuss each category. What do you think your specific priorities should be?" We pondered and debated several and arrived at this list:
1. All employees should be focused on selling and retaining satisfied clients who will make referrals. Going forward, we want to be known for having a sales culture.
2. We will begin hiring great salespeople and system engineers.
3. Employees will be generously rewarded for their performance.
4. Marketing will identify and cultivate every potential client who might be an early adopter of our products.
5. Marketing will provide a thoughtful brand to differentiate our unique offering.
6. The sales team will have a list of prospects, a quota, the best resources available and a compensation plan to reward excellent performance.
7. The system engineer and customer support teams will be in place and properly trained. They will actively support clients to ensure a high level of satisfaction.
8. The managers and the new CFO will manage expenses carefully. The budget will be based on our key priorities, resources and processes.
9. We will raise money to cover the expenses of growth.
10. Every manager should feel ownership for his or her assigned area. They should feel empowered and responsible for their performance.
11. We will hire an experienced CEO.
12. We will also hire an experienced technology officer to guide software development. We need to make sure our products continue to be relevant and best in class.
13. We see the need to establish a professional board of directors.
14. We agree as a team to report on our progress on a regular basis and to be held accountable for our efforts. We pledge to be persistent in our efforts and to avoid complacency.
The next items for consideration include important and urgent resources, specifically the following:
1. Hire the best people for each job. Make sure they clearly understand what's expected of them.
2. Ensure there are sufficient funds to achieve the plan.
3. Ensure there are supportive systems, tools and equipment.
Each prioritized task should be carefully delineated, documented and taught to appropriate employees. Each process should be implemented, followed and monitored and be examined and improved on a regular basis.
I welcome your thoughts. You can reach me via this column, on Twitter @AskAlanEHall or via my personal website at www.AlanEHall.com.
Alan E. Hall is a cofounding managing director of Mercato Partners, a regionally focused growth capital investment firm. He founded Grow Utah Ventures, is the founder of MarketStar Corp. and is chairman of the Utah Technology Council.
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