We have an old Swedish saying on family businesses; “förvärva, förvalta, fördärva” that translates to above heading. This refers to the challenges meeting three consecutive generations of business owners.
Two focus areas are predominantly important when creating value and moving the business forward. Eventually to the next level. Sales traction and sales stability is the oxygen and blood of the business.
I rent office space at a tech incubator down-town Stockholm. Being a small business entrepreneur this has been a great solution that add pulse, colleagues and daily inspiration. Surprisingly however, many of my colleagues, including some of the angels and venture capitalists that hangs around our office seems to have a somewhat naïve tune to growing companies. At least if one would like to do it long-term.
At a closed meeting, the Prime Minister Göran Persson simply put his finger in the air and estimated the future cost of replacing the ten Swedish nuclear power stations to be €100 bn. Today, 15 years later that estimation of cost for electricity produced still holds, regardless if it will be nuclear, hydropower, wind power or any other combination of electricity production that will replace current Swedish nuclear power stations.
Salesforce is one of the business stars of today. The company was founded 16 years ago with the aim to produce and sell an online Customers Relationship Management system in the cloud. A typical SaaS business. Not many people know however that Salesforce with its easy to understand webpages is not really a startup any more but has more than 16.000 employees of which most of them are engaged in marketing and sales, not product development or product maintenance.
After several interesting meetings the last couple of weeks with founders, CEO’s and technical directors of small- and mid-sized industrial companies here are some notes on the most pressing topic I picked up – the challenge of landing sales contracts.
You need to grow and scale your business, for multiple reasons. I will not elaborate further in this particular post but rather highlight some of the important areas you need to keep an eye on when growing your business: