Entrepreneurs seem to have all the fun, don’t they? The excitement, passion, drive, fear of the unknown, pitching to investors, creating and doing business a mile a minute, rolling up their sleeves, and working 24 hours straight.
All for the ultimate prize: creating a company that has traction in the marketplace. Creating a company that makes it past early-adopter stage into mass market adoption. Creating a company that has staying power.
Like yours. A company that’s been in business for over 5 years, weathered a few financial storms (an understatement), and has a solid and diverse customer base.
Your company has made it.
Except the thrill is gone, isn’t it? Your concerns are now far both tactical and strategic. Making payroll when accounts receivable is out net 120 (involuntarily on your part) and accounts payable is net right now. Retaining employees while your workload is still going up and down. Worrying about whether your staff is helping you develop business. Wondering whether you have enough manufacturing capacity just in case all of your responses to RFQs / RFPs are accepted. Maintaining a solid pipeline for business development while holding your competitors at bay.
And you thought you were “there.”
You are. Except that once you get to where you are going, you have two choices: be satisfied with maintaining your current business level or realize that there’s another business goal beyond your current horizon.
It’s up to you to decide which course to chart.
One inevitably will lead to a business based on maintaining the status quo. The other will keep you nimble and responsive to the marketplace. Entrepreneurial. You are constantly in touch with industry and technology trends and best business development and sales processes. A course which, once charted, will always lead you to yet another “there.”
A course which, once charted, features entrepreneurship as a major component of your value proposition and company values.
This mature manufacturing entrepreneurship path requires you to look for the types of folks who embrace your philosophy and will honor and perpetuate it. Are these the folks you have working for you right now?
This mature manufacturing entrepreneurship path allows you to deconstruct your business model so that cross-functional collaboration across technical and non-technical disciplines is the hallmark of your output. Is this the model upon which your company is currently organized?
This mature manufacturing entrepreneurship path allows you to both lead and follow as you have the right folks doing the right stuff to deliver the right products and services to customers who are A-List customers for whom you do your best work.
Sounds thrilling to me. Sounds like a game plan that will perpetuate that entrepreneurial mojo that your company was based on as a start-up.
What are you waiting for?
Babette Ten Haken, and Sales Aerobics for Engineers, strongly feels that the fulcrum for innovative business development is leveraged by collaboration between technical and non-technical professionals.