Julia Langkraehr’s Blog

Business growth - breaking through the ceiling

Hitting and breaking through the ceiling

Business growth is rarely smooth and easy.

It tends to occur in spurts, often as a business responds to the things going on around it – a changing the economic climate, winning and losing customers, launching new products and services, increased competition in the market and so on.

Having shifted to accommodate the new environment, a company will often plateau as it is set up and structured with people and processes to generate the revenue it is producing. It is not set up to generate two or three times that.

So change is needed. What got you here, won’t get you to the next level.

Businesses hit the ceiling at the three levels:

  1. At a company level. The whole business feels stuck and as if things aren’t working.
  2. At a departmental level. An example is when you have the sales and marketing properly structured using the right technology and tools, with the right people in place, and the sales are growing, but the operations department isn’t able to cope with the growth.
  3. An individual. This is when a person feels like they can’t keep up with the demands of the job so they are not working effectively. Sometimes they need skills training or to move to a different role with different responsibilities. They are still a good team member and match the core values, they just need a different seat in the organisation.

Breaking through the ceiling

I often come across this when working with companies using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) and it’s interesting and inspiring to see the ways we can break through ceilings together and deliver business growth.

A client has just had a phenomenal year, particularly the last quarter. This was down to organising their sales department, hiring the right people for the right seats, and letting someone go who didn’t fit. They had also invested in software to automate their CRM and marketing activity and outsourced marketing and PR support.

Now the sales and marketing department is well structured and focused, everyone has their priorities and they are on fire.

Business growth

Of course this success has increased the quarterly revenue.

With this growth, the leadership team realised that two departments had hit the ceiling and didn’t have the capacity to deliver the amount of work that was being generated. In addition, two individuals in those departments had also hit their own personal ceiling.

Changes had to be made to help the organisation as a whole break through the ceiling it had reached.

EOS helps companies break through ceilings

I worked with the leadership team to decide how to manage the change.

The visionary and integrator decided they should bring in more leaders with the relevant skills and experience who had worked and led teams in larger businesses.

We managed the transition carefully, making sure the existing heads of departments felt valued and were able to move to different roles in the department while acknowledging their contribution to the business.

We re-organised the structure of the leadership team, and of two of the departments, with new mid-level managers. We also debated and decided where several of the functions should report into.

The company chose to use an external consultant with expertise in processes. She interviewed everybody in the relevant department and made recommendations which they are now implementing to manage work-flows and increase efficiency in the operations of the business.

These decisions have enabled my client to break through the ceiling and work to a higher level of capacity. They are now structured for business growth, with people being in the right seats and the business having the right processes to support them.

If you feel your business growth has hit a ceiling and stalled, please give me a call on +44 (0)7795 667480 to see how I can help.