The average small business has annual revenue of around $120,000 a year. Scaling a business to a million dollars in not easy and requires a lot more than most entrepreneurs have as far as their "Inner Game" that's the stuff that makes you stick with it when you would rather quit. Most small business owners start a business for freedom, and the ability to make more money than they would working for someone else. Also, they may enjoy helping their community, making a difference and the pure joy of doing what they enjoy.
Entrepreneurs on the other hand normally start a business for those reasons, also that want to scale the business, have a vision and also become wealthy. So why do so many business only reach $120,000 in revenue? Mainly because they don't understand there are characteristics that the entrepreneur must have in place to reach a million dollar business. There are many, but I am going to discuss 5 that are essential:
1. Thinking too small-Most entrepreneurs think of their short-term goals while scaling their businesses. They get caught up in the day-to-day of running their businesses which does not leave much time for strategizing and metrics for long-term goals. So I recommend that you visualize how you want your business to end up and work backwards. This will allow you to think of what is necessary to grow your business with the long-term goal in mind from the beginning.
2. Hiring the right people-In the beginning it a challenge to have the cash flow to hire the right staff members with a skill set that makes helps scale your business. Most hire family members or friends because they feel comfortable and because of the lower expense. However, if the right people are not hired, it may cost a lot more on the back end than you ever thought it would. So, try to start out with the right personnel and save your company and yourself a lot of heart ache in the long run.
3. Build a brand that people fall in love with-This is very important from the very beginning. Building a brand that people will fall in love with is a true test of how well your business will scale. If you could just take someone else's logo, and put your logo and name over theirs, this is not a brand that people fall in love with. It should be very unique and should have several things that stand out.
4. Sustain itself without you-Your business should be able to stand alone, and sustain itself without you. Please listen to this, because in order to have any peace in your life as an entrepreneur, you must have a business that is receiving residuals, and running without you in the day-to-day operations. My test is if the business owner can leave the business for up to three weeks, and everything stays on point, the business can sustain itself without you.
5. The financials, processes, & the operations-Really knowing and understanding the numbers is everything to scaling a business towards the million dollar mark. You have to know each area, understand the process, the financials-balance sheet, etc. and have a clear understanding when you need to shift one thing to another. On Shark Tank, the Board of Advisors always ask about the numbers.
To reach a million dollars in business, the business has to be bigger than you, and you have to REALLY want it more than you don't.