Sitting in the CEO seat of a sales and marketing firm for the last 15 years gives me a unique vantage point. I’ve had the opportunity to look into the eyes of hundreds of CEOs looking to grow their companies. Most see unrealized opportunity that would fundamentally change their growth trajectory if they could only capitalize on it.
I started this business to support owners and CEOs in realizing their vision for growth. That’s my “why” in the spirit of Simon Sinek.
It’s painfully difficult to start or lead a company and scale it. There are countless long days, often years of low pay and constant pressure over all of those mouths to feed. I learned this first hand from my father. That’s why I’ve made it my life’s work to build a team capable of partnering with CEOs to identify and execute scalable growth. The idea was always this: If my team and I could lessen this stress and support these brave leaders in realizing their path to scaling their companies, imagine how many more budding entrepreneurs would be inspired to follow their lead. Our country was founded by entrepreneurs. Investing in their success brings me joy.
It’s for these reasons that I felt compelled to write this article. I’ve seen far too many of the owners and CEOs I’ve met through the years fall into the same trap with devastating effects, and it’s been exacerbated by the pandemic. It’s gut-wrenching to see an owner on the brink of losing his or her business and the resulting ripple effect through all of those impacted.
So what is the common thread of these business failures? Waiting past the point of return to de-risk revenue.
They either have most of their top clients in a single vertical or worse yet, most of their revenue from a single client. Or, they have not identified other paths to achieving their growth goals if their current strategy for scaling sees a performance decline.
If you only have a single path to growth, you are doomed to fail. And too often, by the time these owners get to my team, they are past the point of return — where every dollar in marketing investment must pay off immediately with no room for error. Marketing is an art and a science, and it takes time to fully optimize a new strategy. If you are in a financial position where every dollar spent must produce an ROI in the next 90 days, you’re likely past the point of return sans an outside investment of capital.
I’m going to share with you the stories of three such owners that I’ve encountered through the years. Key facts have been adjusted to protect the anonymity of these owners. The lessons to be learned from their experiences are vital to business survival.