Graphic UI Wiz Specializing In Minimalist Flat Design, To Build Next Gen Medical Kiosk App
Are you a UI designer with no less than five years’ experience and who enjoys working with new and exciting apps. Our self-service medical kiosk needs a clean, simple and professional GUI designed. It is a large 45+ inch, touch-screen canvas that you will help move from functional screen to beautiful and intuitive app.
With your help we are ready now to finish our beta test software and build out the UI of our state-of-the-art medical app. We want a designer who takes pride in delivering relevant, clean, modern visuals that blend with killer detail and minimalist design.
We have designed this app for agile iterations, user adaptability and ease of use. We need about 20-30 screens designed with common look and feel and want it to look like a giant iPhone app.
All cover letters without the words IAMROCKSTAR will not be considered.
Most companies will never break through the million dollar barrier of growth. Ninety-five percent will never reach $5 million in sales.
Why is that. The Book Good To Great has some ideas but in the earlier stages of a company's development there are some basic things, usually missing that can be examined and addressed.
I am going to give you a checklist of things companies need to get to scalability here, though it is always a given you will need to add to your team, or use consultant to implement these ideas well.
If you do not know they exist you cannot expect to implement the solutions alone after all.
The Six Things Every Company Needs to Grow
That They Usually Don’t Know They Need
Getting to the next level and having smooth growth requires different methods of managing a company, or gear shifts in management style at least four times, as a company moves from startup to mature.
Each of the five stages has a different set of challenges and problems. Unfortunately even our best MBA programs cannot teach these Management Science and leadership skills and arts because they require many years’ experience, not academic learning.
Think about how the Captain of each of these boats, or ships, above has a very different job. A CEO and management team in organizations is no different. Their jobs change radically as the business grows. Complexity and the need for more experience increases drastically.
Here are just six, of more than fifty things every company needs to move from small, and seat of the pants management, to larger and professional management:
1. 1. A monthly goal setting process and staff meeting cadence to communicate and insure clear accountability for results (not activities). These are always put in writing and delivered by each person for their area of responsibility. There are several models and systems for this but they all have the same basic elements which are based on human behavior and are from the thought leading work of Peter Drucker, The Father of Management, in the 1960s. People have not changed. Research shows that companies that do this correctly generate 56% more value creation than companies that do not! Symptoms of not having this discipline include:
a. Poor progress in improvement of the business
b. Confusion on what priorities are and key deliverables, excuses not results
c. No solid schedule and accountable person for each major task
d. Always fighting fires and things falling through the cracks
e. Friction between people and departments and finger pointing
f. People are used to and expect to be micromanaged, training them to not grow
2. 2. A set of metrics used to define, measure and communicate results and success in objective numbers. These are called Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. KPIs are needed for each i) department, ii) key process and iii) the company as a whole. The instantly and objectively communicate results and trends.
a. No objective definition of success, or way to measure and focus on improvement
b. Difficulty in knowing the exact status of a process, project or department which should be easily communicated with a small set of numbers in a few seconds, not long dialogs
c. You don’t know if things are improving or getting worse, except for revenue, and you don’t know why
d. Little focus on results, people just hide behind activities instead
3. 3. An appropriate mix of experienced managers relative to lower cost employees to manage productivity and work “on”, not just “in” the business. This ratio normally needs to be one experienced manager for each seven individual contributors but varies by industry, company and department too. This is called “Span of Control” and is key to maximize sales, growth and efficiency to be competitive. Symptoms of a poor ratio are:
a. The boss and senior people are overwhelmed and have no time to work on improving the business because they constantly needed, not delegating decisions
b. Political behavior and people are afraid to take risk and innovate
c. People only “do things”, they don’t constantly improve things (execution, not good management, planning and leadership)
d. A company goes sideways for years with only minimal (0% to 15% annually) growth, or up and down as growth creates crisis
4. 4. A Management Development (MD) program for your best employees to help them grow and be challenged, and to help them step up in responsibility and develop into managers and executives as the company needs this. No company grows without developing their people. You attract and keep the best people by challenging them and giving them a career path, not just a job. This program needs a mix of training and coaching to move people along fast enough to grow with the company. A budget of 2-6% of management salaries should be allocated to run this program and must include a mix of training and coaching. Symptoms of no MD program are:
a. The best people leave the organization due to lack of growth and opportunity. No growth equals constant turnover for the top people who want to move up in their responsibility, skills, pay and career path.
b. You do not get 70% of job offers you make accepted (acceptance rate) and the better the people are the more they reject your offers (they see something you don’t).
c. People think of management negatively and do not provide feedback to improve
d. You do not see innovation, creativity and growth in the business. All businesses must grow or die using innovation constantly to adjust to a changing world.
5. 5. A clearly communicated vision that all employees can use as a filter on daily, weekly and monthly decisions and to set priorities. Amazingly research has found only about 15% of employees understand this vision, or even annual goals, when asked. This is a failure of leadership. A company cannot have a strong culture and results without a clear vision everyone understands. There are many components and levels to this to present it to people in ways they can understand depending on many factors.
6. 6. Well defined key processes with metrics for each of:
a. Marketing - Lead generation of quality prospects
b. Sales – The act of closing deals in any venue B2B, B2C, online, retail, etc.
c. Operations - Delivery of your services and products to the customer for the best possible experience.
If you cannot articulate the goals for your company, departments and processes in a small set of numbers you are not ready to scale and are still using micromanagement instead of the more advanced methods of management that allow scaling.
The main challenge is not knowing these things but knowing how to train, coach and implement them properly. This is art, not science, because people are involved. Small differences in how these things are done makes a huge difference in the results. Change is hard for most people, and even harder for organizations.
Generally implementing these things takes 30-60 days each and only one should be done at a time. We have developed a library of videos and other tools to make this efficient and effective. We combine a weekly training session with a coaching session to help people shift their mental paradigm and reflex from what worked in the past to what will work better in the future as larger scale.
Organizational Change Management (OCM) is a specialty which requires vast experience and a combination of knowledge (training), coaching (customized for individuals) and consulting to design the program. We have been doing it since 2002 and learned a few things along the way.
We help companies grow and get to the next level by using proven best practices and management systems that make companies market leaders, not market followers.
Call (619) SCALE06 for a free business assessment by phone.
I get this question all the time and it is such a board question it says loudly the person asking it is not ready to launch any company yet.
I spent 5-10 years preparing myself to launch a company by reading hundreds of books, being a manager and Vice President, going to SBA and MIT Enterprise Forum meetings and other venues and far more.
The answer is my CEO Boot Camp and years of preparation to understand sales, marketing, operations, finance and product development (your domain/industry). I also created a book called The Startup Manual with a CD-ROM of digital tools to walk you through the entire process of design, launch and grow.
My products are avaialble at www.StartupPlanet.com but I would strongly recommend an experience CEO Coach and/or advisory board.
All that said basic service businesses are simple to run, while technology businesses that are meant to scale are far more complex and require lots of experience.
Some general things you need:
1. Clear target market or ideal customer profile
2. Clear value proposition and messaging that resonates with target customer - ideally a customer that understand the need and value, not one that needs lots of education, which is expensive in sales process.
3. Business model design (an art very few can do well that requires decades of experience)
4. Financial plan and/or capital to start
5. Team that compliments each other. See my Best practice video here.
All of this together and more is called a "Vision" and I have an article on this here.
I hope these resources help answer this broad question. It cannot be answered well in a sinle article by anyone and the only good answer is to point you to many resources and recommend study, practice and mentorship.
Anyone that needs to ask this question is not yet ready and should likely work for someone else for a few years before they lose their shirt trying to launch a company.
Should you hire good people you find and build roles around them?
Never, ever design a role around a person if you want to build a real business. Although this can work in very small organizations (under seven people) with little growth it is very dangerous in significant companies.
People come and go all the time. You need to design your organization's and processes first and write good, clear job descriptions and hire for those roles. This is a common failure point for entrepreneurs and managers who hire people because they "like" them, not because they are the right match for skills and experience. People also often do not understand the difference between skills (easily trainable) and art, which takes 5+ years to develop for far more complex things. What Malcolm Gladwell labeled "unconscious competence".
This is not to say roles and responsbilities cannot be tweaked a little for individuals. You should expand the roles of good people to keep them challenged and engaged. Nor does it say if you find someone you think is a superstar you can not invent a role for them to take them off the market and let them find their role within a growing organization. This is possible when a company has some room in a budget and each individuak need not carry themselves every month, maybe upon reaching twenty plus people and a steady profit. At that point you can begin to invest in top people and their development for the medium-term and long-term and not look at cash-flow as critical. It just says you need a strong match to the needed skills and experience in each key role and should not compromise. The ripple effect of one bad match to a role can hurt an organization a lot.