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E72 | The Ten Point Plan for Scaling Any Business with Dom Monkhouse

This episode was originally broadcast by Startup Grind Bournemouth (UK) as an interactive and intimate fireside chat with experienced technology business leader Dominic Monkhouse of Foundry Media.

If that name sounds familiar, that’s because this is a chat with our very own illustrious leader, Dom. 

In this interview Andrew Walker, a founder at Click Tools now turned angel investor and mentor in the startup community in Bournemouth, talks to Dom about how he gained his business experience and the work he did with two UK technology businesses (Rackspace and Peer 1) in order to scale them to over £25 million within 5 years. 

Dom talks the audience through his ten point plan for scaling any business, giving away lots of nuggets and actionable takeaways, sharing his career journey along the way.

On today’s podcast:


The Ten Point Plan For Scaling Any Business with Dom Monkhouse

If you’re wondering how to take your business from zero to superhero, to scale your startup, to grow consistently at 20% year on year, then Dom Monkhouse is the man to get you there. 

If you’re ready for rapid, significant and sustainable growth, then Dom has the answers for you. And while they’re all deceptively simple, make no mistake, if you want to scale up your business you need to be an ambitious yet humble CEO, and the process will require agility, clarity and commitment. 

Ready to join over 2,700 businesses worldwide who use Dom’s methods? 

Let’s go. 

The 10 point scale up plan

10. Environment. 

There’s something to be said for start ups that can bootstrap to get ahead. Just look at HP or Apple, notorious businesses that began life in a garage. Having no money is galvanising in the early days as there’s something appealing about having desks made out of doors and mismatched furniture in the beginning. But at some point you’ve got to make money and when you do, you want to attract great people, “and there is a limit to how many great people you can attract to your offices if it’s a shit tip.”

If you want to be an employer of choice you have to hire the best people, then you have to have a good space for them to work in, because office space has a huge impact on the company culture. 

“I think if you’ve got inspirational offices you raise the bar and you say to people, ‘this office space is part of setting the bar – we’re trying to change the world, we’ve got great space, we want to be a great business.’ And if your office space is shit, then why would anyone believe that you’re trying to change the world?”

9. Structure

“As your business gets past 60 and towards 100, it becomes harder for you to be really sure that you’ve got no passengers in the business.”

And don’t hire managers for the sake of it. 

Unless someone has the skills to be a manager, don’t make them a manager just because. “At Google they’ve actually removed the managers so they no longer hire, fire, pay rise or promote their staff – what are they left with? Coaching.”

8.  OKR (objective and key results)

Make sure you have a system or mechanism in place where people can hold their colleagues accountable if you want to see real results. 

7. Meetings

The number of people who spend their lives in crap meetings is outrageous. We all know holding pointless meetings is a waste of time, yet we continue to do it. Break the mould. 

6. Candor

Be direct with colleagues if you care about them. Hold those difficult conversations with people when they’re in the room and never talk about someone behind their back. 

If you’re debating in a meeting go at it hard, but don’t make it personal. 

5. Engagement

This is relevant to both staff and customers. Use Net Promoter Score to measure customer and staff engagement and when you’ve received all feedback, action it. Then go back to your customers and staff and say: “thank you for your feedback, here’s how we’ve used it to change our business. This approach drives considerable engagement.”

4. Principles

(This is tied to values)

3. Values

Values are a shorthand way of describing behaviours that you want to encourage in the company. Rules are for the 2% of people who don’t know what the right thing to do is. 

2. Purpose

This is simple. Without purpose, nothing else matters. If you need more inspiration, listen to Simon Sinek’s TED talk on ‘Why’. 

1. Talent

If you want to scale up you have to have the talent to support you. 

“Jim Collins says every month every manager should ask themselves about everybody in their team: ‘knowing what I know about them today, would I be sad if they resigned and would I rehire them tomorrow?”

A bad hire is worse than no hire. So build a rigorous recruitment process and go to market to attract great people. 

“You do not have a god given right to attract amazing talent, unless you’re already a huge brand. You’ve got to work really hard, you’ve got to write different job ads, you’ve got to do research, you’ve got to have something about your organisation that would make the best employer of your competitor come and work for you.”

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