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Mark Jacobs


Mark B. Jacobs has spent 30 years in executive leadership successfully guiding major growth initiatives – many starting as turnaround efforts. He has led re-capitalizations, start-ups, and key organizational change agendas that have scaled company growth and performance. He co-authored the SmartScale process which is built on his years of hands-on experience and expertise in Lean Manufacturing, Quality Systems, Sales & Operations Planning, Category Design & Development, Leadership Development, and Technology-Driven transformations.

Growth vs Scale

How to turn your business model into one that generates massive revenues without adding colossal costs and resources?

If you’ve been successfully growing your revenues at a rate of 4-15% per year – but not significantly growing your EBITDA as a percentage of revenues – congratulations for growing – but a bummer that you aren’t scaling.

Don’t get growth mixed up with scaling. Growth means adding revenue at the same pace you’re adding resources; scaling means adding revenue at a much greater rate than cost. Here’s why that’s a big deal:

  • Growth companies earn a valuation of 5-8 times EBITDA. Scaling companies - 10+ times EBITDA.
  • Companies that are scaling have the resources to:
    • Dominate their category
    • Attract the best and brightest team members
    • Disintermediate challengers

How to go from a growth company to an Authority-based business that’s scaling.

The problem for most growing companies is they have a growth culture – not a Sustained Scalingmindset. That switch from growth culture to Sustained Scaling Mindset is a big deal…but in a nutshell, it goes like this:

Step 1: Replace bogus “strategies” with real market identity – or as we prefer to call it – a category that you own. It’s dumbfounding how many companies point to a financial plan, brand plan, or some mission, vision, and values statements when you ask to see their strategy.

These are important…but they are NOT a strategy. They do not define who the company is and why people like, trust and transact with it.

Most alarming to us is that companies craft their identity to appeal to whichever customers buy the most product – not around the:

  • Problems that the company solves,
  • The job that it does,
  • Business purpose,
  • Point of view that it advocates,
  • The category where the company is the Authority,
  • Customer avatar, and
  • The difference it makes in the lives of its customers/community members.

Step 2: Create an infrastructure for Sustained Scaling — then do it again and again until it’s a way of life. Your growth company was fortunate to find a market niche that grew rapidly. You rode a wave. But did you create the wave? Companies that scale know how to create the wave. They do this by building a community around the Category that they own. And then make that habit.

Step 3: Build an internal community of practice that works on the business as much as it works in the business. Taking the time to design an organization that can sustain scaling is what distinguishes great teams from those that catch a lucky wave. Sustained Scaling involves constantly questioning how your organization should look. There are processes, like leadership development (culture is ALWAYS a reflection of leadership), growth hacking, process design, and continuous improvement, to name a few, that are Sustained Scalingimperatives.

Some Companies Just Can’t Scale

Not every company can achieve Sustained Scaling. Here’s the kind of companies that fail Sustainable Scalingtm:

But there are those that can! Here’s the description of a company that will be successful at Sustainable Scaling:

Achieving Sustainable Scaling™ is hard work – but then being the best in the world at anything is.

Click the link below and take the assessment to see if your company has what it takes to scale. Or contact us and let’s explore how you can achieve Sustainable Scaling.

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