Fueling small business and mid-market growth: Mission and strategy
Running a business

Fueling small business and mid-market growth: Mission and strategy

Over the course of this 4-part series ...

We will unpack how to fuel small business growth by focusing on the metrics that matter most from the (very) top of your organization down. Our conversation will focus on creating the metrics that best align with your Mission and Strategy, Empowering Employees, Data Analytics, and Technology.

Because what you measure … GROWS!! 

Or SHRINKS, so let’s be honest: Growth in all areas of your business isn’t always the best idea.

But we’ll get further into that later in the series - so let's get started.

Your Mission and Strategy

I want to start at the very top with your Mission and Strategy.

Big yawn, Robbie. We’ve already aced that foundational exercise during our formation.

Ah, but do you still measure it?

What is your Mission?

And, I know, as a business owner, we launch into start-up mode, and we get excited to create our Mission.

It’s right up there with our logo and branding. It’s big. It’s personal. We want to get it right.

Powering prosperity at Intuit

Now, I’m about to use the Intuit organization as an example case study, only because it’s what I’m close to. This is in no way an advertisement.

We can all agree that having a Strategy to support our Mission is essential.

For example, Intuit declared 5-Big Bets to support the Strategy: "To be an A.I.-Driven Expert Platform.”

I realize that Big Bets might be new language for some of us today, but I’m almost certain that if we were to spend 10-15 minutes together, we’d quickly discover that you likely already have big bets for your company, even if they aren’t declared.

But just out of curiosity, you can raise your hand, but I won't see it, I mean after all, this is an article, but who here has declared BIG BETS for their business?

Confidence in mid-market businesses

Now lean in for a moment.

Are you ready to learn something new about other business owners, and maybe even yourself, that may surprise you? Intuit learned from their small businesses that overwhelmingly the biggest problem they face today is ... any guesses?

It's a Lack of Confidence. Surprising right?

Now you can see why Intuit's Strategy is critical to Power Prosperity.

So let's hit pause here. I'm going to assume that everyone reading that has a clearly defined Mission and Strategy.

Mission and Strategy are, in my experience, what separates the good from the great. Fair enough?

Success in mid-markets

Ah, but do you measure them?

Another key difference I've learned from successfully scaling businesses is that they create measures around their Mission and Strategy.

So, for example, if your mission is to bring the joy of homeownership to low-income areas with turnkey home-building solutions ... and I would love that by the way - please do more of this!

It's a BIG BOLD mission. To bring joy of homeownership ....

My question to you then is, how are you measuring the Joy of Homeownership?

Serious question. How else are you going to know if you are truly standing up to your BIG BOLD mission?

Which is why I love Bombas!! Does anyone wear Bombas socks? Then you already know their mission is to help those experiencing homelessness.

Pretty clear right? One sold = one donated. 1:1. I bet that looks AMAZING on a dashboard. Just saying.

Bombas case Study - QuickBooks

Okay. We're aligning, so let's tease this concept of measuring what matters out a little more. Intuit data shows that small businesses need to:

  1. Find and keep customers.
  2. Get paid.
  3. Have access to capital.
  4. Make sure they stay in compliance.

And as your business grows into mid-market, needs evolve. So, naturally, we see that mid-market owners and operators tend to demand:

  1. More personalization.
  2. Lower-cost systems than traditional ERPs.
  3. Automation.
  4. Constant connection with an expert.

And now, bringing it all back together with a click down, here are the top challenges facing businesses today:

  1. Payroll Expense Management: Exceeding 30% in labor can strangle cash flow and put a business underwater.
  2. Staffing: 61% of employees surveyed said they would fly to another job if offered better benefits.
  3. Compliance and Risk: 40% of DIY businesses get hit with a payroll penalty each year.

I believe many of these challenges could be overcome, if we just did a better job of dashboarding our metrics. And on the topic of metrics, many of these callouts would be a terrific metric for your business.

Try it now!

  • Develop a measure of your Mission.
  • Measure your labor cost.
  • Benchmark your benefits packages compared to "like" businesses locally, regionally, and nationally. 

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