You know how to sell. You are great at producing new products. You have staffed your business with superstars to stimulate further growth, and with other stars and superstars to manage that growth. Everything is in place to grow your revenues to $100 million and beyond.

Yes, the sky's the limit now. But sometime during this third stage of business growth, between $10 million and $50 million in revenues, the structures and systems that you set up to promote and allow growth may begin to grind against one another. So although you've hired a COO to run the operational side of the business, you will have to stay involved on an as-needed basis to readjust the cogs when you hear that grinding noise and ensure that the machine is running smoothly.

During the first two stages of your business's growth, you sped things up. Using the Ready, Fire, Aim approach, you discovered how to break into a new market and sell a front-end product successfully. You also changed your business so that it could pump out new products as fast as the market could take them. All that innovation and speed created pressure. And you relieved that pressure by making your business more structured. You created an operational core. You groomed and/or hired professional managers. You urged those new managers to implement new procedures, protocols, and processes, and you stepped back and let them do their thing.

And you have noticed the difference. The chaos that was such ...

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