Small businesses make up the backbone of the American economy. The Small Business Administration has found that businesses with a few years of experience generating just under one million dollars in revenue have some of the best potential to grow, creating revenue and jobs.
“[The SBA] came up with ScaleUp specifically to provide training to help business owners take that business and grow it to the next step,” says Your Management Team President and Co-Founder Mary McCarthy.
McCarthy administers the work of the ScaleUp American initiative through her consulting firm’s program Entrepreneur Exchange.
“We have to think how we are running our businesses,” she says.
Many business owners take a great idea and run with it, finding success, but, “At some point we have to stop and say, ‘How can I be more effective in what I’m doing in order to grow?'” McCarthy explains.
The intensive, nine-month program helps business owners examine their operations and learn the skills they need to grow more effectively. Curriculum and workshops target challenging areas for business owners, like sales, pricing and leadership. Many business owners are used to doing everything themselves, and adding employees not only means a change in their duties, but the extra responsibility of leading employees.
The Entrepreneur Exchange program also makes sure business owners understand important facets of their operations, like financials.
“We have quarterly financial reviews,” McCarthy says.
A certified CPA reviews a business’ financials for accuracy and efficiency, and to educate the owner on what it all means.
While much of the programming is focused on the big picture – where is a business going, how are they getting there and how are they financing it – individual mentoring sessions with McCarthy provide an opportunity to dive into the day-to-day issues that may be holding a business owner back from the big picture.
Peers in the program provide yet another mentoring outlet.
“We tend to work in a silo,” McCarthy says of business owners. Even after they have brought on employees, there’s a lot of issues and challenges the owner may not be able to share. But sitting in a room with other entrepreneurs going through he same things, “It’s a very safe environment to share what’s going on with your business and get feedback,” McCarthy says.
As the program gears up for its second year, its impact in the first has been evident. Your Management Team is currently looking for applicants for its new class of businesses ready to take their operations to the next level.
To participate in the Entrepreneur Exchange program, a business must be in business for at least two years with $150,000 – $750,000 in annual revenues. Interested businesses must submit an application, with profit & loss statements from the previous two years, and a three minute video explaining why they should be chosen for the program (McCarthy says to have fun with it) through Your Management Team’s website by December 30.
There will be a launch party in January and programming starts in February and runs through September.
McCarthy knows it’s a a big time commitment, but doesn’t want business owners to continue to operate ineffectively, hitting the point where they no longer enjoy it.
“If you take the time now and actually do the commitment and struggle through the fact that you’re overwhelmed for nine months, it makes a huge impact on where your business is going,” she says.
For more information and additional application instructions, visit yourmanagementteam.com.