How incumbents successfully scale their new businesses

Article Summary 

The article focuses on a few key areas at which successful entrepreneurial ventures excel.  The premise is a startup venture within an enterprise but I think these apply to any organizational size or genesis that has a fledgling business model working. I summarized the points below. Please note that I combined a few as they seemed connected to me. They are:

  1. Focusing on the wrong customer metrics/Paying for numbers, not quality – Too often, we treat all customers the same. They are not. The article leans toward LTV as a key metric that can work. I think that as long as you truly understand who your most profitable customers are in terms of percentage and volume, you can home in on the few things that delight them.  If you relentlessly improve in those areas, you have the best chance of scaling profitably.
  2. Governance that focuses on quality decisions made quickly- I have come to learn that to make consistently great decisions, it is a two-part process. First, decide the kind of decision you are making based on certain decision-environment factors (Simple, Complicated, Complex, Chaos). Once you have figured that out apply a consistent decision-making process.  (I wrote a series of articles on the two-step process I share with my clients. Here is the first short article of seven)
  3. Entrepreneurial Leadership – An entrepreneurial leader is okay with uncertainty, comfortable with mistakes, and eschews unnecessary bureaucracy and oversight.
  4. Leave room for error/learning – If you are doing something entrepreneurial, there is inherent risk. Innovation is messy and does not often follow a pre-determined timetable.  Determine what you think you need and then add at least 50% more to cover for your optimism bias (Entrepreneurs seem to skew toward this bias – It is a feature and a bug :~)
  5. Adding unnecessary features – I think this is related to #1 above. If you do not focus on the 20% of the customers that make you 80% of your profit and cash, you are asking for eventual trouble.  It is unconscious brain bias to want to enhance our reputations by pleasing others. This can be a problem if you try to please the wrong customers and people. Be aware. Course correct quickly when noticed. Forgive yourself and your team members for being flawed humans with about 150 mostly unconscious biases.


Be exceptional!

Bill  – Certified Growth Coach, Foundations in NeuroLeadership certified, Predictive Index Certified Partner

For MA companies ONLY, as an approved Training and Development provider, Catalyst Growth Advisors can offer up to 50% off program fees.  Click here to see if you qualify.

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Published by Bill Flynn

Gazelles Member Advisor and early stage startup specialist with a proven track record with 16 Boston-based startups (9 to date with 5 successful outcomes, advisor to 7 others); SMB to Fortune 500 companies. 20+ years of Senior Sales, Marketing and GM experience in industries including mobile advertising, security, digital advertising, e-commerce and IT. Core Competencies: Player/Coach, Metrics-driven, Execution-based philosophy, Life-long learner

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