The honeymoon is over. You have your startup capital. You’ve ramped up to 4 – 10 employees quickly. Let the games begin!
A Stage 1 Company, (there are 7 Stages of company growth that cover companies up to 500 employees), you’ll have 1 – 10 employees.
A Stage 1 company is CEO-centric – meaning the CEO is likely the ‘specialist’ who has created a product or service and is now getting her idea to take shape. Therefore, 50% of your time should be spent as the technician or the specialist while only 10% of your time will be spent as a manager.
As a company grows, so must the leader. Each stage of growth will require something different from its leader. Understanding what is required of you, as your company evolves, can either propel the company forward or cause the company to become ‘stuck’ – profits never materialize; sales suffer; there is high employee turnover.
There are Five Non-Negotiable Leadership Rules
for a Stage 1 company:
1. You must generate, track and preserve cash
2. You must focus 80% of your resources on selling the 2 – 3 offerings with the best margins
3. You must hire for ‘how the person fits in with the team’ first; and second, for how competent they are
4. Waste no time trying to ‘stabilize’ your company – embrace chaos – command the team and inspire the employees
5. Establish regular one-on-one meetings with each employee to build a company-wide performance mindset, establish a feedback loop and provide employee development
Survival is the name of the game with a Stage 1 company. As you grow closer to Stage 2 (10 – 19 employees), the focus shifts to being about Growth (not just surviving). Stage 2 is about supporting higher sales levels and making a profit.