Yesterday I talked about the appropriate time to scale a business and understanding some of the key indicators. In addition to the metrics and quantitative aspects there is a qualitative side as well.
There is a sort of groove or operational flow that occurs when a business has momentum. It’s difficult to quantify, but there is just a feeling of energy surrounding the experience. Here are a few aspects that I have found once you are in the groove:
1. You are continuously working on the business and it feels like an inconvenience to be pulled away. Sleeping and eating feel like distractions.
2. Customers are interacting with you in a positive way by placing orders and/or asking questions on a regular basis.
3. There is a continuous stream of orders. This may not equate to high volume, at least at first, but perhaps one a day to get started. Customer orders force engagement with your business and create a natural operational flow of sorts, assuming your feedback loop is tight.
4. Outsiders become interested in your business and feel drawn to it. It is likely the first topic of conversation when you revisit an acquaintance or friend.
5. You feel a natural enthusiasm towards your business. I’m not simply talking about the enthusiasm of starting, but the sometimes uninteresting daily tasks. There will be a natural ebb and flow of this energy and enthusiasm, but when you’re in the groove it feels like it’s always on.
These are some, but not all of the signs that you are in the groove. To some extent this can be backed up by metrics – units shipped, revenue, etc., but overall there is a sort of energy that emanates from the experience once you are in the groove. Conversely, this energy fades if something within the operational side of the business becomes out of balance.