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Business Growth
Feb 15, 2014

Hitting The Ceiling

Sponsored Content provided by Dallas Romanowski - Managing Partner, Cornerstone Business Advisors

“Hitting the ceiling” is a phenomenon that occurs in almost every business and is usually caused by one or two things:

  • Increased management complexity driven by more employees, customers or partners
  • Changes in industry, such as market size, increased competition, disruptive technologies, government regulation and customer buying preferences.

When companies hit the ceiling, they often enter an evolutionary period. Their ability to manage this transition will have a direct impact on their future growth and sustainability. There are three potential outcomes for companies going through this transition:

  1. Leadership implements the right changes (organizational structure, operational processes, business strategy and marketing/sales plan), and positions the company for growth and increased profitability.
  2. Leadership lacks the vision to grow or doesn’t recognize the need to change -- Profit margins tend to erode and mid- to long-term sustainability is at risk.
  3. Leadership recognizes the need to change, but fails to make the right changes -- Wrong decisions cause the once successful company to fail.

Cornerstone’s coaching approach is designed to not only help business leaders guide a company through evolutionary periods, but also to provide a simplified approach to implement positive change and hold teams accountable for results.



Position Your Company for Success with the Four Elements

A strategy we recommend is to develop a Performance Culture System, which I created for Cornerstone Business Advisors. It has four core elements, which I’ll explain in detail here.

The first element, Effective Leadership, is the cornerstone for transforming your company culture into a performance culture. Without effective leadership, the remaining three elements are meaningless. Conversely, effective leaders will transcend their peers and find it much easier to implement the principles in Performance Culture, the book that I wrote on the topic.

The second element, Niche Strategy, is the foundation for building or increasing your competitive advantage. It includes your Unique Value Proposition, which is your way of standing out from the competition. With a solid business strategy, it will be easier to increase profits and business value.

The third element, People Management, simplifies the complexity of managing a growing enterprise and helps you develop a Performance Culture. It provides a method to determine the right seats and to match those seats with the right people. The planning section of People Management enables you to focus on your Critical Success Factors and provides a means for open, candid communication within your team.

The fourth element, Process Excellence, creates a system and scorecard that enables your company to grow. It documents your value chain -- your way of acquiring customers and delivering value. A well-defined value chain increases your ability to scale your organization. Process Excellence not only ensures quality and efficiency, but also provides a framework for continuous improvement.

Implementing these four elements in your business is a process itself and requires discipline and commitment. Initially, this may mean working harder in the short term, but your work/life balance will improve and you will have higher profitability. After implementing this process, you should see significant positive change within three to six months, if not sooner.

Avoiding Past Failures

Business owners are always interested in improving their business. Often business owners try “strategies of the month” to increase profitability. These management practices are frequently ineffective because either the strategy was not well-thought or the leaders did not have the discipline to carry through and hold team members accountable. The Four Elements will work for your company if you avoid these mistakes and are committed to staying the course.

Cornerstone Business Advisors provides access to experts in business strategy, management, process and finance. The Cornerstone team includes former C-Level executives, successful entrepreneurs and advisors who offer unmatched experience in delivering advanced, custom-tailored, results-oriented solutions for business leaders. Cornerstone has worked with hundreds of companies that range from fast-growth start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations.  It developed the Performance Culture System™ to help clients implement best practices and drive high performance throughout their organization. For more information, visit, call 910-681-1420, or email [email protected].

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