Promoters Vs. Operators: How To Scale To 8 Figures Gracefully

When you want your business to succeed you have to get out of that comfort zone and start promoting your business in any way you can. Without proper promotion, no one will know what it is you do, or that you do anything to begin with. This is one of the key starting points for any entrepreneur to make it in the cut-throat industries of today.

However, it goes so much deeper than that. Nowadays you can’t just be someone who just does good promos and is super charismatic, to make it big. Even with a big social media following and all of that you won’t make eight figures. It may work for you for a little while but as the market evolves, which it inevitably will, this will fizzle out for you. Don’t fret though, this is the perfect starting place. This is where you find your talent, deeply understand your business and your clientele. You develop good management skills, good operational skills, and a powerful support network. When you combine these skills with efficiency, good financials, and a good accounting system, you evolve from a promoter into an operator.

Which is just another stepping stone. You don’t want to stop there, you want to ensure you become a slick operator. Someone who will squeeze other people out. The only people who survive this environment are slick operators. It’s 100% required since you can’t get to eight figures as a promoter, you need to have dialed in operations. This is everything, your support, your books, your financials, your every system, every little nut and bolt in the entire business, you have to know it inside out.

Step 1: Be Efficient

The best piece of advice we can give anyone is efficiency. All the greatest companies run a very tight and efficient ship. You constantly have to look at how you can make every process, including your own processes, better, faster, stronger, cheaper, and more reliable. You have to have it machined, so it’s running perfectly.

Step 2: Learn Everything

And we mean everything! Learn about your entire business and how it works inside and out. You need to have an understanding, especially financial and accounting. You don’t need your CPA, however, have a bookkeeper reconcile your books at least once a week, it should really be daily, and explain it to you in layman’s terms to you. Whatever you do, do not reconcile once a month, it is too late, the mistakes have already been made by then

Step 3: Only Use One Cash Account

You should only spend money if you have the money to spend, and said money should be going to work in the most efficient way possible to bring back more money. It means that if you want to spend $1, make sure it brings back at least $1.20, at the bare minimum. Anything less than that and you are going backward because of chargebacks, overheads, etc. This way, with a 20% margin, worst case scenario is you break even.

Step 4: Find Your Perfect Manager(s)

You can’t become just a full-time manager. You can either build or manage, not both. A good rule of thumb is, once you have more than 5 people, create a manager position.

However, do not just hire a manager. The person that you want to manage your company is most likely already on your team right now. You need someone that already knows the most about your business, knows every detail, knows every in and out. Having managerial skills is easier taught than the ins and outs of your business. That passion that comes with the time your employees have already put in is unparalleled to someone with a piece of paper that says they can manage.

When you are successful there is way too much going on in your business for you to know about it. You have to find the manager(s) you trust to watch over the menial day to day operations.

Google calls these individuals t-shaped people. Someone that knows everything within your company, but they can go deep on one specific thing. You don’t want someone who only knows one piece but not all the other pieces, they’ve got to know a lot.

Generally, you will want to hire strategically, the first couple of employees, you want to intentionally look to move them into a management role, as the business grows.

Step 5: Get Rid of the bottom 10%

In the beginning, you are in a more desperate position, and therefore are willing to be more lenient on whom you hire. After you’ve established your company a bit more, you will be able to get rid of those employers that aren’t up to your standards. Keep in mind, these aren’t necessarily the people who make mistakes, instead, it is the people who aren’t passionate about your business, and don’t want to be there.

You want to make it so your company has high standards and is one that people want to work for. This is where you can take a page out of GE’s books, they fire the bottom 10% of their employees every year. This boosts their efficiency and the desire for people to want to work there.

Step 6: Keep Your Employees With Incentives

The incentives have to be aligned with your business. If we want to be the best and survive the long-term, we need a team of people, who think and act like owners. Therefore, the only way to someone truly think and act like one, is to make them one. When you are ready, roll in stock options. This will make people work even harder because now they feel they have some power and responsibility. They want the business to do well because it directly benefits them.

Another great incentive and a hugely beneficial move for you is manager offices. This gives a space for your managers to work on the menial things, tweak efficiency, and plan future steps without disruption. Even if the majority, if not all, of your employees work remotely, you want to ensure that your managers have a place to meet. This is where there can bring in the engineers, front-end designers, the marketing team, data scientists, etc. It is a professional, forward thinking area designed to help your business succeed.