Douglas Greenberg of PNWA shares 7 steps for scaling a business

Whether it's a Fortune 500 company or a start-up working out of a garage, Douglas Greenberg understands that every business begins as something small. It's "scale" that enables them all to grow.

Douglas Greenberg

That's why the Portland financial adviser founded Pacific Northwest Advisory (PNWA). Acting as a fiduciary, Douglas Greenberg and his team work exclusively with owners and entrepreneurs to provide a cohesive, comprehensive, and customized growth strategy. In addition to offering a variety of financial services, he prides himself on offering independent, unbiased advice. For this work, Douglas Greenberg has received countless honors. This includes being recognized as a top financial advisor by both Forbes and Barron's.

But Douglas Greenberg understands that scaling a business isn't easy. Yet, with more than two decades of experience, he is more equipped than most to navigate these challenges. With this in mind, Douglas Greenberg lays out seven tips for successfully scaling a business.

Make a commitment

Part-time won't cut it. Scaling a business demands an "all-in" mentality. Some owners are content with the status quo, opting to remain small. And there's nothing wrong with that. But growth-minded owners must establish long-term goals and structured processes in order to meet them.

Create a plan

Now is not the time for spontaneity. Construct a detailed, thoughtful plan. This should be built around actionable reporting and accurate projections. But, even more importantly, acknowledge your deficiencies. Douglas Greenberg advocates a proactive approach. Spot potential barriers and ensure you can overcome these challenges.

Identify core competency

What makes you unique? While this sounds like an existential question, the answer can have profound implications for your business. Maintain awareness of your company, its role in the market, and how it's different from competitors. It should influence every decision you make and sharpen your focus.

Develop a leadership team

Entrepreneurs are used to operating as "one-man bands." Yet scaling a business can't be accomplished alone. At the end of the day, you are building a workplace. Train, teach, and mentor staff to handle these new tasks. Douglas Greenberg sees this as a key to unlocking sustainable growth.

Foster a winning culture

Staffing decisions aren't about just filling seats. To scale a business, you need buy-in from all employees. That's why Douglas Greenberg places a premium on recruiting and development. This is rarely a top-down endeavor. Prioritize an environment that values new ideas and collaboration.

Invest in standard processes

Automation enables the integration of systems that are measurable and easily replicated. It also relieves the pressures of day-to-day responsibilities, allowing staff to direct their energy elsewhere. Through outsourcing or upgraded software suites, necessary functions like payroll, scheduling, and client management are less burdensome.

Evaluate, analyze, adjust

This is essentially the "rinse and repeat" instructions for scaling a business. No plan should ever be static. Comb through collected data to refine your strategy. Be flexible, evolving with the ebbs and flow of your growth. As Douglas Greenberg likes to remind his clients, growth is never linear. There will be struggles. There will be valleys. But these are not failures. These are opportunities to learn and innovate.

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