How are you growing your business?
How many million-pound people do you employ? I'm not talking about people with bionic implants to make them stronger, faster, or more intelligent. I’m talking about skilled businesspeople who bring in over a million pounds every year.
In our time working with businesses across the UK, we’ve only seen one or two companies with just one person at the helm consistently bring in £1m or more each year. You could say they’re one in a million.
If you look at the really successful businesses at scale, the one thing they have in common is a group of talented people growing the company.
If you want to be a Premier League team, you've got to have Premier League players. The biggest reason newly promoted Championship teams often get relegated again is because they don't invest in Premier League players.
The same is true for small businesses. Small business owners are often reluctant to hire people who are more skilled than they are, or who have different views to them. And we get it. When they first set up their business, they were the talented, driven, entrepreneurial, forthright individual leading the charge. They were the seed an entire business grew from. It can be hard to shake that identity and let someone else in on it. Until one day, they find they’re blocking the sunlight from the rest of the business and growth has stuttered to a halt.
To keep nurturing a business that’s bigger than you, you have to clear room for new talent, ideas and growth. Bring in people who will challenge you and know more than you, then watch your business flourish.
Sit around the board table of a £5m turnover business and generally speaking you'll find two or three people who add real seven-figure value – the ones I call "Million Pound People".
Now, sit around a similar business with £50 million turnover. Rather than just two or three Million Pound People, there’s six or seven. And beneath the board, there’s another dozen flogging their guts out for the course. The growth of a business can easily be charted in its ability to attract, retain, develop and excite Million Pound People.
So, ask yourself this key question: when you look at people in your business, how many of them deserve to be on a six-figure salary? How many of them add over a £1million revenue every year? If that number is equivalent to you and your other founders or shareholders (or less), you're in trouble. Fundamentally, your business isn't going to grow.
You need more good people with good experience and good ideas.
Because times like these do create opportunity.
When you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to see the talent you’ve got and the talent you’re missing. A helicopter view from someone outside your business gives you the perspective you need in this area, unlike traditional business advice that only tackles one specialist problem.
What you need is a compound perspective that looks at thousands of businesses and understands the contextual factors holding back growth. And as we see, one of those factors is being able to attract skilled people, get them in and for the business owner to tolerate quality talent.
There's an old phrase that ‘you get what you tolerate in life’. Fundamentally, most small-to-medium-sized business owners tolerate average, so they get average. We’re here to change that.
If all they tolerated was million-pound value, million-pound effort and million-pound contribution from their people, they’d have a multi-million-pound business.