Young Upstarts

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[Review] Scale

Scale

There could be any number of reasons if your small business has reached a plateau, but one of the most common – pointed out by business experts since time immemorial – is down to the fact that the business owner just can’t seem to let go. This particular syndrome is accurately summed up by Jeff Hoffman and David Finkel in their new book “Scale: Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back“:

The ultimate goal for a business owner is to build a company that he or she can one day sell, continue to scale, or even own passively. Most business owners reach for grwoth by working harder and personally trying to produce more. This is a flawed model model that at best will lead to only moderate growth. At worst, this strategy can literally put your entire company at risk.

You may be familiar with the name Jeff Hoffman – serial entrepreneur was a founding team member and former CEO of Priceline.com who has successfully scaled and sold a number of businesses. Coauthor David Finkel is CEO of business coaching firm Maui Mastermind, but he’s better known as a best selling author of various business books such as “Build a Business, Not a Job!” and “The Maui Millionaires“. Together they’ve come and put together their new book “Scale“, where they introduce their version for building and scaling a business called the “Level Three Roadmap”.

Level Three Roadmap

The idea is that in order to really scale a company requires the business owner move beyond a n “owner-reliant” model to one that’s far more systems- and process-driven complete with a solid management team and intelligent business controls in place.

A Level One business, according Hoffman and Finkel, is one that still in its startup phase. The Level Two business, on the other hand, could be in an early stage where it has secured a number of early clients and may even be reaching profitability, to building a core business that sees the entrepreneur already starting to escape the “self-employment trap” – where they avoid being bogged down by day-to-day work and instead focus on generating growth. But the real finish line is Level Three, a truly scalable business that creates massive market value without needing the entrepreneur – you – actually being there every day to run it i.e. the exit stage.

You can tell from the onset that “Scale” is not  your typical feel-good, self-help book; instead Finkel and Hoffman provides a structured set of controls for you to implement in your business. There will be lists – plenty of lists – complete with resource toolkits for almost any growth situation a business may encounter. In fact, much of the guidelines they provide aren’t simply suggesting, they’re proven ideas that have worked – in fact, Hoffman and Finkel outlines various case studies in their own businesses where they’ve applied these principles.

If you’re hankering for a light read for the weekend, “Scale: Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back” won’t be it. Instead, it’s a practical manual targeted at the serious entrepreneur who intend to free themselves from crushing everyday concerns and take their business to a totally new level.

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Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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