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Making the Jump from Small to Large

(May 2007) posted on Sat May 12, 2007

Growing your business requires attention to production processes, accounting systems, and management


By Marty McGhie

As you look for the next manager(s), interview thoroughly and methodically. These are the people that will be making critical decisions on your behalf. Be careful that you don't fall into the temptation of simply elevating current employees to newly created positions: While that may work in some instances, bringing in fresh blood with management experience in other industries and with other companies will provide you with invaluable knowledge and insight into your business.

If your philosophy is to always either promote personnel within or hire inexperienced managers with the idea that you will train them "your way," you are doing yourself a huge disservice. New and innovative perspectives are exactly what your business needs to continue to grow and be successful. Too, be prepared to accept the fact that you will indeed make some misjudgments along the way in hiring the right management team. If this happens, and you realize you have made a mistake in hiring the wrong person, make the change quickly and refocus on finding the right person for that management job.

As you assemble your management team, don't hesitate to utilize some outside resources to assist you in developing the group. For example, over the past few years, our company has enrolled our management team in lean-manufacturing training, taken classes in Six Sigma training, and studied principles of ISO 9000. As a team, we have read countless articles and we're always reading a book simultaneously-which we discuss, chapter by chapter, in our weekly management meetings. We also send our managers to trade shows and enroll them in classes, then have them return and report the information they have learned to the entire group. We take advantage of the traveling training and seminar groups when they come to town, and we enroll our managers in classes that might be appropriate to their individual level of management experience. The point here: Don’t try to build your management team all by yourself; many good resources are out there that can assist you in building your best team.

The rewards of growth
As I said earlier, growing your business is very demanding. The process will, at times, make you long for the good old days when your company was a small shop with a few staffers, just doing your thing. But at the end of the day, I think you'll find that the satisfaction and excitement of being a part of a dynamic, growing business is second to none. By adopting some of the ideas I've presented here, your growth process will become a rewarding one.

Marty McGhie (marty@ferraricolor.com) is VP finance/operations of Ferrari Color, a digital-imaging center with Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Sacramento locations.


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