In the fast-paced world of small business, the journey from startup to sustained growth demands a strategic mindset and a well-defined plan. Scaling up requires more than just ambition; it requires a meticulous approach to strategic planning. This blog post explores the intricacies of strategic planning for small business growth by adopting a Scaling Up approach to unlock the full potential of your enterprise.
Embarking on a journey of growth necessitates a solid foundation. Strategic planning serves as the compass, guiding small businesses through the complexities of expansion. A Scaling Up approach to strategic planning involves:
1. Setting Clear Objectives and Goals:
Define the destina
Scaling up a business is an ambitious pursuit that demands strategic planning, efficient execution, and a relentless commitment to continuous improvement. One powerful approach gaining traction in the business coaching realm is the “13-Week Race.” In this blog, we’ll explore the concept of the 13-week race, its benefits, and how it can be a game-changer for businesses looking to accelerate their growth.
Scaling up is not just about expanding the size of a company; it’s about increasing efficiency, improving processes, and achieving sustainable growth while removing company drama and getting everyone more free time. Many businesses struggle with the daunting task of scaling, often overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of t
Hey fellow trailblazers! Ready to catapult your venture to new heights? Strap in because, as a Scaling Up coach, I’ve got the lowdown on the transformative Rockefeller Habits inspired by the legendary John D. Rockefeller. Let’s dive in and propel your business to the top of the charts!
Imagine your business as an epic playlist. To get everyone vibing to the same rhythm, set those priorities loud and clear. Let’s sync up your vision with your team and kick things off like the opening act of a rock concert.
In a world ruled by data, don’t get left in the analog era. “Data” is your superhero sidekick. Crunch track and measure progress weekly, make informed decisions
As we enter another holiday season and gear up for a brand new year, the question looms large – is your business truly prepared for 2024? It’s time to reflect on the past and set the stage for a year of unprecedented growth and success. Will 2024 be just another rendition of the status quo, or are you ready to propel your organization to new heights? As a seasoned Scaling Up coach, I am well-versed in unlocking the full potential of businesses. It all boils down to defining your priorities, setting goals, and addressing the obstacles preventing you from reaching them.
Imagine looking back at the end of 2024 with a sense of accomplishment, having achieved the following:
Lately, I’ve found myself having more and more conversations with commercial lenders at networking events. The usual pleasantries lead to the inevitable question, “Steve, what do you do?” When I explain that I’m a certified Scaling Up coach and how I assist businesses grow and scale while increasing profits and margin, the bankers often respond with a common sentiment: “I wish that many of my potential clients would work with you. They could benefit from your expertise because when they seek funding, unfortunately, their company’s financials and operations often raise too many red flags and risks.” It’s from these discussions that this blog takes shape. Here are some insights into what banks look for and how a Scaling U
Hey there, I just wanted to give a big shout-out to Michael Pacheco for recently having me on “The Remarkable Coach” show recently. It was such a blast!
We dived into some super interesting stuff about how the Scaling Up methodology can totally transform businesses, making them bigger and better. Our chat covered a bunch of important business topics, like:
In my last blog, I wrote about the importance of identifying and defining your ideal client. Now that you know the importance and how to define your ideal client or customer, how do you find them? Or how do they find you? This blog will give you some ideas to make sure that you are fishing in the right fishing holes for the right clients. I will also discuss how to hire the right employees so that you can provide the maximum value to your ideal clients and customers.
Obviously, you need to know where to fish to find your ideal client. In other words, where do they congregate, what do they read, and what are their interests? If you want to catch a tuna, you clearly have to go to the ocean, not
If you know me, you know that I spend a significant amount of time networking and building relationships with other professionals. I find that the most fun and rewarding part of these efforts is connecting people who can potentially do business together. So inevitably, I always ask, “Who is your ideal client or customer?” In response to this question, I have heard all sorts of answers, from general responses like “anyone who will buy my product” to the very specific “high net-worth families in their 50s who are approaching retirement and need comprehensive financial planning.” As a business coach, specifically knowing your ideal client is the
I recently had the honor and privilege to be interviewed by Startup Veteran® where I discussed my military background and how it helped lead me to coaching business owners and executives to grow their companies. I thank Startup Veteran® for the opportunity to share my story. You can read the entire interview below.
Steve Ferman, Marine Corps Veteran, Owner of 4 Pillar Coach
In my experience, there usually is a time when the organization outgrows its entrepreneur. What does this mean? Basically, it means that the founder’s skills, expertise, or leadership style may no longer be sufficient to drive the company forward. Because of this phenomenon, the organization’s leader may become a bottleneck. In other words, the leader is in the way of the smooth flow of operations and decision-making which can have a negative impact on the entire organization. As a business coach, you can imagine that it requires some hard conversations when the company’s founder and leader is the cause of the bottleneck. But before having those conversations, I help identify the specific bottlenecks and their root causes.
A business leader can
If you watch or read about current economic news and trends, there is talk about a looming recession. In general terms, a recession is defined as a significant decline in economic activity, typically lasting for several months. While the global economy has been recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are ongoing concerns contributing to the predictions of a recession. Regardless of whether or not these predictions prove true, with the right mindset, business owners and executives can overcome the challenges of a potential recession. In fact, the right mindset and strategy can create opportunities and a competitive advantage when the going gets tough. But before getting into a mindset discussion, let’s take a look at what is driving these predictions.
As entrepreneurs, we should have our exit in mind when we start our companies, but we usually don’t. Regardless, for every business owner, there will come a time to think about and execute an exit strategy, which might be selling your business to your family, partners, or another third party. When the time comes, will you just accept the buyer’s offer? Or will you be able to get a higher valuation for your business because you have a Rembrandt in your attic?
Not sure what I mean by a Rembrandt in the attic? Let me explain.
There is a house for sale with a listing price of $1M.
Buyer #1 does a quick tour of the house. He likes the house’s layout, the yard, the little stream in the back, and more. Therefore, he offers to
Here is a timely message from my friend John Ratliff that really tees up our workshop on Friday. I thank John for letting me share his spot on thoughts.
I love talking about employee culture, and really enjoy dispelling a lot of the myths that surround how to create a great culture.
One of the biggest is “I’ve got to get my people more motivated.” You hear it all the time. I always imagine the same visual when I hear that quote - an overzealous manager trying to be “rah rah!” and give a great speech and high fives. All while the employees are rolling their eyes behind the scenes.
Here is the dirty little secret…
I am happy to announce the 4 Pillar Coach 2023 Workshop Series. Each session is tailored to business owners and CEOs looking to grow their businesses and get back to enjoying life as business owners and get their time back!
February 24 - 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.: Talent Assessment
Successful businesses can only thrive when the organization is full of “A-Players.” This session will discuss the importance of hiring the right A-Players, coaching up B-Players, and phasing out C-Players.
April 19 - 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.: Where Are We Going and What is Holding Us Back?
In this workshop, we will uncover what drives your company forward by avoiding what is stopping progress a
In this quick Byte, I ask 3 rhetorical questions to help you hone in on particular aspects of your business’s current outlook. If you can’t answer them, or don’t like the answers you’ve given, reach out to me today to see how I can help you in your business, beginning with a complimentary Scaling Up Assessment.
As we enter the holiday season and another new year is on the horizon, is your business ready for 2023? Said differently, what will you do to make 2023 the best year yet for your organization? Or will 2023 be the same as 2022 and previous years? The status quo does not have to be your reality, nor should it be. As a Scaling Up coach, I know the possibilities of taking your business to new heights. It really comes down to defining those priorities and goals and addressing the pain points that are holding you back from reaching them.
At the end of 2023, what would you think if you accomplished the following:
The beauty of the Scaling Up process is that it has an abundance of tools to help business owners reach greater success. In particular, I have several business assessments in my toolbox. These assessments are geared toward any business with revenue between $1 – 500 M per year. They provide you with helpful information that can highlight your business strengths and areas for improvement. They are extremely useful at the beginning of the Scaling Up process for setting priorities and areas of focus. Likewise, they can be used to get some insight into specific areas of your business which enables us to work on the most critical areas first. Currently, we are offering three different business assessments. Let’s take a look at each one.
As a serial entrepreneur who has started and sold 6 technology companies, I have learned a few things over the years. The lessons I learned, and stay with me the most, are from mistakes that I made. For example, I did not have all my ducks in a row and did not have a well-defined exit strategy when I sold one of my companies. As a result, I know I left significant dollars on the table at the closing. These lessons inspired me to start 4 Pillar Coaching so I can pay it forward to other business owners facing similar challenges. The Scaling Up method, which is what I implement for clients, offers great tools to ultimately execute your exit strategy. The exit strategy should be top of mind from the onset of creating the company, even if you plan to shut it down one day or leave it to
Do you work on your business or in your business?
There’s an adage amongst entrepreneurs that business owners should work on their businesses, not in them. That’s the difference between one little letter and one little preposition. This phrase was coined and popularized in the 1986 book E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What
A cornerstone of scaling up is having a solid team in place. It can be difficult for an executive to relinquish some duties and delegate. Still, it just makes better business sense to pass on lower-level tasks because their time is valuable, sometimes even priceless. Like a child suffering growing pains associated with a rapidly developing body, so too can businesses and stakeholders suffer a bit in the process of scaling up.
Once you’ve determined the division of labor and defined job roles, set priorities, it’s time to hire your dream team.
Before taking on any new coaching client, we discuss the process and the level of commitment required for success. After all, Scaling Up takes a commitment from the entire organization’s senior management team. This commitment is not limited to time. Instead, it includes a commitment to my Rules of Engagement. By committing to these rules, I have found that my clients reach their desired outcome through the Scaling Up Process. On the other hand, a lack of commitment will not move the ball forward very much. For these reasons, if a potential client disagrees with the Rules of Engagement, I will not accept the engagement.
I have already mentioned commitment. From my perspective, this means putting the time in, attendin
When meeting with potential clients, I inevitably ask, Do you remember why you started your business? The answer usually contains the themes of making more money and having the freedom to make all decisions. In other words, being the boss and reaping the financial rewards.
My next question is, Are you experiencing what you envisioned? The themes of the answer to this question are quite different. For example, business owners often feel lonely at the top of the business. They are stuck working IN the business and not ON the business. They are frustrated and angry that they cannot trust others or that employees don’t seem to care about the company’s success. And this frustration enters all aspects of their lives. Their spouse is tired of the complaints
Steve Ferman, President of 4 Pillar Coach, was recently a guest on the Jonathan Rivera Results Leader.FM Podcast. In this episode, Ferman discusses how to coach a business’s team members to success and how an organization’s Core Values can drive success.
To listen to the complete podcast, please click here.
4 Pillar Coach works with business leaders, helping them to successfully grow their companies by focusing on four critical areas: people, strategy, execution, and cash. Founded by Verne Harnish, author of Scaling Up, Scaling Up Coaches boasts of more
One of the very first things I do when coaching business owners and executives is to identify the organization’s core values. As a major part of the Scaling Up method, the concept of core values is pretty straightforward. Basically, core values are a handful of rules and guidelines defining the culture of the business DNA. These rules are reinforced every day by each employee of the business. This includes the leaders of the organization to the newly hired administrative or support staff. Failure to identify and adopt core values can have several serious negative consequences for your business. One such consequence, that we will discuss in more detail is having a cancel culture as opposed to a vibrant culture.
The pandemic, supply chain issues, the Great Resignation, huge inflation, and rising interest rates are all hot topics – and not in a great way. From these events, the business term “pivot” saw a resurrection. As a business coach, I say pivoting is no way to run a business. Obviously, changing course and adapting is sometimes a business necessity but that type of pivoting is not a good long-term strategy. Rather, and in light of these recent developments, now is the time to make a plan that will allow your business to outperform your competition and thrive – and not simply survive. This is what my upcoming workshop is all about. On June 24, I will be hosting Prohibit
Local strategic business coach, Steve Ferman, was recently named a Certified Scaling Up Coach after completing rigorous coursework, service commitments and a peer review panel. He joins more than 200 fellow coaches who have earned the prestigious certification.
“We’re thrilled to have Steve join the ranks of Scaling Up coaches around the world, each committed to helping business leaders scale their companies,” said John Ratliff, CEO of Scaling Up Coaches. “Steve’s impressive career as a serial entrepreneur, most recently as Founder and CEO of eTegrity, combined with the extensive training required for this certification, make him a huge asset for any company seeking strategic grow
Steve Ferman, President of 4 Pillar Coach, was recently interviewed by Go Solo where he discusses his background and how he helps businesses reach their goals using the Scaling Up Process.
Go Solo is a series of stories about entrepreneurs published by Subkit. Subkit helps regular everyday people to start their own profitable business ventures. Starting with concept ideation, through to sustainable growth, Subkit is the one-stop-shop for solopreneurs looking to expand their knowledge and learn how to build, run and grow a business.
4 Pillar Coach works with business l
On June 24 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Steve Ferman, President of 4 Pillar Coach, is presenting a workshop for business owners and key executives.
Starting with the pandemic, businesses faced unprecedented challenges which gave prominence to the term “pivot.” Then came along the Great Resignation, supply chain issues, and now rising inflation and interest rates – more pivoting for some. The 4 Pillar workshop, Prohibit the Pivot, will uncover the trends impacting your business and industry, discuss your company’s strengths and core competencies, and weaknesses - then take that information and formulate an actionable plan that will be the basis for future growth no matter what life throws at you next.
Ferman says, “As a business coach, I
When speaking to clients and other colleagues, one thing is abundantly clear. Most people hate meetings and wish management meetings were more effective. In researching reasons for such disdain, I discovered these top complaints:
When you look for a lawyer, accountant, or doctor, what is your first step? Do you ask friends or family? Do you do a Google search? How do you know if they are experts in the issues or attention you need? If you need an attorney to prepare business documents for your company, you surely don’t want to meet with a patent lawyer.
Similarly, you don’t need a forensic accountant if you have a tax issue. If you are looking for a podiatrist, a reference to a pediatrician is meaningless. The same holds true for business coaches. Doctors, lawyers, and business coaches have something in common – they all have a unique area of expertise and a personal style of delivering their services.
That’s where man