How to Take Your Business to the Next Level

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on June 01, 2010 in: Branding, Business - Plain & Simple


There is an invisible set of stairs that entrepreneurs perceive in the life of their business and every business owner has the desire to move their business up these stairs toward some (possibly unknown or unstated) level of success. They know that each level requires new efforts and techniques and ideas and comes with its own challenges and rewards.

But the problem is, what the heck are the levels? There’s no manual anywhere suggesting what the levels are. Yet, every entrepreneur knows that they are at one level and they want to get to a higher level. I have people asking me all the time to help them move to a higher level.

In case you’re reading this and wondering if I have somehow divined what the levels are, I haven’t. But I have discovered something else: Moving from one level to another is often preceded by dissatisfaction at the current level as well as an increasing amount of chaos and sometimes an unsettled feeling. I compare it to a child’s top that is spinning smoothly for a while and then starts to wobble. The business starts to wobble, unbalanced, just like that top. That “wobble” is often the time when a business owner wants to move to the next level. But here’s what I recommend first:

Instead of focusing on the next level (which is difficult to do anyway because it’s hard to know exactly what it is for each business), focus on making your current level perfect. Address that unsettled feeling and that chaos. Get it under control.

You can do this by:

  • Creating or revising your business’ systems.
  • Revisiting your business plan.
  • Hiring someone to take care of your details (or extending the responsibilities of someone you’ve already hired).
  • Taking a vacation to clear your head.
  • Perfecting your current operation.
  • Looking at your expenses and reducing them.
  • Revisiting your business model to see if there are additional revenue opportunities.
  • Strengthening your customer service.
  • Increasing the consistency and quality of your marketing.
  • Increasing the quality of your deliverables.

“But Heather,” you say, “I want to get to the next level. What you are telling me is how to make my current level better.”

Indeed that is exactly what I am doing. And the reason is: Your current business, which is probably running well enough (after all, you are looking at moving forward) needs to be tightened up a bit in order to more effectively move forward anyway. And, as you move forward, you want to maintain as much control as you can (and as much profit as you can) and cleaning house will help with that. You will also gain a fair amount of insight into how your business is running (and that could reveal for you exactly how you can move forward).

If your business is starting to feel like it’s becoming unbalanced and you’re wondering if you’re ready to move to the next level, make your first step a house-cleaning effort to strengthen your current business and that will help you get to the next level faster and more profitably.

On to the next level!

Heather Recommends:

Running a business can be busy, challenging work. I can help you become more productive and successful. Find out how.