Growth Stages Operations Strategy Team

Stage 2 – Follow these rules of the road as you ramp up for growth

Stage 2 Company (11-19 employees)

You are stranded on a deserted island and you only have 30 seconds left on your cell phone battery – could your second-in-command back at your office tell you in those 30 seconds how well your company is running?

If you had your company focused on your key indicators, you would know immediately. Yet so many business owners fail to really hone in on the key indicators that spell success for their company.
Obvious ones are sales, profit margins, expenses. Not so obvious are number of leads generated, number of leads turned into prospects, number of proposals out the door, number of proposals closed, number of projects in-house, number of projects completed, outstanding receivables past 30 days, number of invoices billed – you get the idea.

As you add more and more employees, you move from one stage of growth to another. The transition that happens between Stage 1 (1 – 10 employees) and Stage 2 (11 – 19 employees) is called a Flood Zone. A Flood Zone indicates an increased level of activity – you have more clients, more work, more processes, more people.

Stage 2 is all about ramping up for growth – this stage of growth demands that you start releasing responsibility to capable people. You have made it past the survival stage and now have 11 – 19 people who are excited and ready to help grow your business. Your focus has to be on managing your growth.

The 5 non-negotiable leadership rules for a Stage 2 company focus on sales, communication and people. Keep your wits about you and before you react to the increase in activity and workload, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I still focused on driving profits and revenue?
  • Am I beginning to let go of critical aspects of the company to capable people?
  • Am I watching the key indicators of success every day?

These ‘rules of the road’ for Stage 2 companies (11-19 employees) will fundamentally drive your business to succeed. By keying in on these critical elements for your current stage of growth, you’ll begin to proactively manage your growth, instead of letting growth manage you.

Rule #1: Sell absolutely every day. Organize your schedule to sell every day and set up an effective sales process. Make sure to have a contact management system in place to effectively follow up with leads, prospects and clients.

Rule #2: Develop, without fail, three employee leaders to be responsible, accountable and proactive. Define clear roles and responsibility with three supervisor candidates and meet weekly one-on-one with them to support their commitment to performance-based goals. Reward these key supervisors when they proactively demonstrate signs of leadership.

Rule #3: Create a daily, weekly and monthly key indicator instrument panel/flash sheet. Determine key health indicators for each department in your company and organize a system to engage the daily collection of key health indicator data from staff. Formulate a daily, weekly and monthly flash sheet system report you can review regularly.

Rule #4: Communicate any and all directions in writing. Set up a simple CEO memo system template when communicating with staff that sets priority level of tasks, purpose, objectives and directions. Have a retrieval system for all written ‘memo directions’ and use the written memos during work performance reviews.

Rule #5: Drive small action teams to hit goals. Set clear and agreed upon action team goals and organize and facilitate crisp action team meetings. Be sure to organize/review regular team action lists with delegated tasks and due dates.


This article, derived from content created by FlashPoint!, is based on the 7 Stages of Growth concepts developed by the Origin Institute and James Fischer. It was contributed by Jacqueline Sousa, a certified Growth Curve Specialist and regional director of the Florida SBDC at FIU.

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