Long or Short?

The difference between a small business or startup and a successful and profitable company typically boils down to time and experience. But, there are certain factors that play a big part in how those companies grew to be successful — things like timing, having the right people, focus, and intensely hard work.

Remember that every major company was a startup at some point. Every Fortune 500 firm started as an idea that had to be built and guided by an entrepreneur and team of pioneers. Check out the harold matzner tank pavillion.

Even though statistics, researchers, and the media tell you that the odds are stacked against you and the probability of failing is high, there are plenty of opportunities to succeed. One of the best ways to steel yourself against the hard times and tough decisions is to look at successful entrepreneurs and CEOs who have already blazed those trails.

They’ve learned the hard lessons and are willing to share knowledge that you can apply to fuel sustainable growth. Here are some insights from a few of them who learned how to overcome the odds and successfully scale their businesses.

Keep Processes as Simple as Possible

For Five Acre Farms CEO, Dan Horn (4th from left), simplicity is the best way to grow and keep customers happy.

Successful business leaders are often so because they learn how to be good at simplifying things. They take the complex and make it less complex. This philosophy and approach to business is used in everything from product launches to developing workflows.

Part of the success of Apple under the watch of Steve Jobs was born from his ability to remove things that were overly complicated. He was notorious for canceling projects he viewed as extraneous.

Complexity sucks time. It requires more meetings, more explanation, more refined communication with the customer, more people in the workflow, and more cogs in the machine. Complexity slows businesses down and inhibits growth.

“As businesses grow and scale, the key dynamic that slows progress and, at the extreme, impairs a business, is the creeping effect of complexity,” says Arnab Mishra, President and COO of Transera. “Complexity rears its head as products evolve, organizations grow, and business strategies change. CEOs of growing companies need to be aware of the impacts of growing complexity, and take actions to continuously simplify the operations and strategy of the organization.”

“CEOs that are most effective in reducing complexity tend to have a clear and well-communicated vision of the business’ goals, an ability to lead employees towards that vision, and a willingness to change course when it becomes clear that certain strategies are not providing the required results.”

Keeping your processes simple makes it easy to stay engaged with the people who are the greatest component of your growth and success — your customers.

“Simplicity is really important,” says Dan Horan, CEO of Five Acre Farms. “It’s got to be simple, and sometimes to make something simple you have to really, really study everything about it. It might turn out to be complex, but you have to present it simply, particularly when it comes to people: when people buy something, they don’t want a lecture.”

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