Growth Stages Operations Team

Stage 4 – Ignite your company’s intelligence by hiring professional managers

Stage 4 Company (35-57 employees)

The fourth stage of company growth (35 to 57 staff) is called the Professional Stage. This is the time you need to focus on hiring experienced managers who have been there, done that. Your company has outgrown your ability to keep all those balls in the air.

An experienced manager will come to the table understanding the need for operational processes and more importantly, how to implement them. They are experienced in how to handle the people side of your business. They can create and effectively manage project teams. They know how to budget, schedule and address client issues.

In every stage of growth, there are three primary areas of focus: revenue/profit, people and process. These are called the Gates of Growth and they help create a functional way to address every single issue that occurs within a company. For a Stage 4 company, the Process Gate is top priority.

When a company moves into Stage 4, establishing key processes that will provide you a foundation of growth is critical. Remember, the old adage that says if you have time to do it over again, you had time to do it right the first time.

Stage 4 Rules of the Road:

Rule #1: Hire or effectively train professional department managers who are responsible, accountable and proactive. Define clear roles and responsibilities for all department manager positions and meet weekly to support department manager’s commitment to reach their goals. Reward them when they demonstrate proactive signs of leadership.

Rule #2: Create strong high-performing departments that are confident and capable, able to serve internal and external customers. Have each department establish clear, measurable goals and objectives that show up in performance reviews. Make sure each department holds weekly meetings centered around key health indicators for their department. Require that managers establish, get approved and manage their department’s budget.

Rule #3: Allocate 5 – 10% of gross revenues to identification, acquisition and implementation of new systems. Identify key systems required to sustain enterprise health and improved performance. Research and acquire key systems. Organize and execute the implementation of those key systems.

Rule #4: Identify and set in place with management team the company’s core master processes. Identify the top 10 to 15 master processes needed to create and sustain the company’s health. Design, document and refine those top 10 to 15 master processes. Implement and make the necessary improvements to the top 10 to 15 master processes.

Rule #5: Establish a strict company project-management template. Research and design a clear, consistent process to manage internal projects. Train all management staff on the project-management template. Communicate and train all staff on the project-management template.


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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