We interviewed John Russell from The Russell Consulting Group, who shared 9 pieces of valuable advice for how to scale your business the right way.

John Russell has been a business adviser since 1992. He began his first practice while running three successful ventures in Hawaii and was sought out by several businesses requesting his counsel and perspective. From 1995, as the founder and Principal Adviser of his firm, The Russell Consulting Group, John has been instrumental in successfully navigating companies and business owners through financial straits and opportunities with a combination of candid assessment and innovative solutions.

1. Marketing Strategy

Be aware of trends in the marketplace. Your business also needs to be able to adapt to the wants and needs of its customers. Your business needs to listen to them and not become inflexible or arrogant. The graveyard of once-famous businesses is filled with those that maintained such an attitude.

John Russell

2. Reputation Management

Managing your online reviews is critical because reviews are how businesses are perceived as relevant. Everyone can have a website, and everyone can have an advertising campaign, but what are people saying about your business? If you don’t have the online reputation you deserve, then you waste a lot of advertising dollars.

John Russell

3. Strategic Partnerships

The #1 thing we look for in partners is that they understand the true value of collaboration. It’s all about the customer. Aside from understanding the value of collaboration, we want to make sure partners have a professional track record, are in it for the long-term and have a positive reputation.

John Russell

4. Scalability

A small business is scalable when they are receptive to receiving counsel and implementing growth strategies agreed upon. Scalable businesses don’t live in a bubble. Second, they need to have “working capital” to implement growth strategies.

John Russell

5. Strategic Planning

Small business owners get buried in their businesses, which takes them away from strategic work. Only when management and employees are working in concert can the real sound of business success be heard.

John Russell

6. Business Plan

A sound business plan or strategy needs to be industry-specific. Cookie-cutter approaches might be a start, but can be too generic. Every business needs to build its own culture, brand and value proposition. You have to focus on your specific business and its compatibility with the customers, employees, cultures and regions it will serve.

John Russell

7. Leadership

The CEO or leader is the biggest predictor of a business’ success. Specifically, the attitude of the CEO and how they will impact the attitude and level of excitement to the team below senior management. If they aren’t open to candid assessment and constructive criticism, they’re doomed to fail.

John Russell

8. Adaptability

It’s very rare that you’re going to get it right in round one. A series of setbacks may occur before any business perfects themselves. Once you get it perfected, you must keep a pulse on what the customer wants because circumstances change in the market. Trends change, including both consumer and political trends.

John Russell

9. Community

We all need to be willing and wanting to leave the world better than we found it. As your business grows, treat your employees in the spirit of how you want to be treated. Be aware of the footprint your business is leaving. For example, your social or carbon footprint. It’s so important that businesses are good neighbors in their communities.

John Russell

About The Russell Consulting Group

“No fluff, just results.” The Russell Consulting Group specializes in bringing together all components necessary for long-term business growth, profitability, and success; and ensuring that they are working in harmony.