Before answering the ‘toaster’ question try answering these questions:
1. Can your salesperson clearly explain and sell to your prospects your product/service without themselves being technically apt in providing the actual product/service?
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2. If your sales double or triple right now, would you be able to cope without breaking at the seams and ultimately compromising quality, etc?
3. When you recruit talent, do you look for years of experience in your type of work? Or do you focus on the ability of the candidate to manage the workflows for your business as these impact the customer experience the most?
Your answers to any of these key questions help me to appreciate, in a flash, how healthy your business is and if it is ready for growth.
So if you give a strong YES to all these questions your business is ready to grow in a healthy way.
These questions are not mutually exclusive. They reveal the quality of your systems and processes that are humming in the background while you can focus on your (growth) strategy and its execution.
If you answered NO to any of the questions, there is a good chance you have answered NO to them all.
Let me explain
The first question shows whether your service is systemised in a predictable and clear enough workflow that allows a non-technical salesperson to explain it and sell it to the market.
The second question is about scalability. Only with the right systems and processes is your business able to grow without too great a strain on resources and compromise on quality.
The third question is key to knowing whether your systems and processes can attract, and keep, the right talent.
I could have easily asked: ‘Who usually makes the decision about buying a new toaster for the staff kitchen?’
If your answer is “I do”, then I would safely predict your business is not yet ready for growth.
As a quick guide, if you want a Hands-Off business, think of the toaster.