“Oliver ‘Power’ Grant’s grand fashion experiment had reached the $10 million mark in sales. Wu-Wear sold in department stores across the country and appeared in fashion spreads in consumer and trade magazines from The Source to Sportswear International. Standing at the threshold between his small-business and big-business future, like many American entrepreneurs, Power was having all kinds of trouble making the transition.” “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop”
[P]ower eventually made the transition. Wu-Wear, which launched in 1997, has become one of the most successful and seasoned Hip-Hop clothing brands. But what would you do if you’re brand suddenly became this successful? Would you be ready to grow and improve your business?
Many small business owners dream of being in Power’s situation. But if you’re not careful, the success can turn into a nightmare, overnight.
|When Wu-Wear took off in 1997, the owners of the business had to deal with scaling the business. Making the transition was not easy. Perhaps this course will help others avoid common mistakes that are made as a business starts to grow.|
To help with this problem, Stanford Graduate School of Business is offering a great opportunity for business owners to learn how to grow their business. Stanford is offering an online course called “Scaling Up Your Venture Without Screwing Up.”
The course is entirely online and open to any and all business leaders interested. The objective is to teach business owners and leaders how to grow their business and how to achieve national and international business success.
Taking those steps, though, can be difficult and even scary. Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a pattern or rules that govern which businesses make it big and which ones don’t – most of the time it seems like chance. Thus, growing your small business can seem pretty risky.
For this reason it is necessary to have all the right tools in place and take advantage of all educational opportunities available to really make the best decisions that will allow your business to succeed.
The course is just five weeks long and requires only four hours of study each week on average – a very manageable amount of time for most business owners. It is informative without being overwhelming or time constraining. Students will be taught by two Stanford faculty members, Huggy Rao and Bob Sutton.
Both Rao and Sutton have eight years of experience in the business world and have plenty of insight to offer. Throughout the course, the pair will share these insights with participants through video exchanges, case studies, and reading assignments. There will also be guest lectures from distinguished business executives.
These well-known business leaders will bring their own experiences to the course in a way that is very practically beneficial to participants. Also, participants will work together in teams on special assignments and group exercises to further their learning experience. At the end of the course, participants will receive a certificate of completion.
The idea is that growing your business – or “scaling” – is more than just physical size; growing your business is more than just getting bigger. Instead, scaling up is about improvement; it’s about quality. With this approach, the core of the business becomes the focus.
“It turns out that if you’re going to spread excellence, you have to clear out the bad stuff first, because bad is so much stronger than good,” Bob Sutton said. “There’s all sorts of evidence that bad behavior is more contagious, is more long-lasting, it packs a bigger wallop, and so as a result, when you’re a good leader, the first you gotta do is get rid of the junk, the cheating, the laziness, the people who are – they might be nice people who are incompetent – you’ve got to clear that stuff out before you can spread excellence.”
Some of the areas that the course will address include training and rewarding employees. In order to achieve sustainable growth through scaling up, business leaders must learn how to correctly train and reward their employees. They must be trained to work more efficiently and more effectively and this must continue as the business grows.
On the opposite end, attitudes that are detrimental to the growth of the business must be eliminated. Poorly trained employees may limit growth, but the spread of a bad attitude and negativity can really thwart growth fast. If you want your business to grow, don’t just focus on growth – focus on making your business great first; on educating your employees, increasing efficiency, and increasing effectiveness. An added bonus of this approach – with well-educated, efficient employees, you create a possibility for growth that is sustainable.
If this course interests you, take a look at other online courses available at Stanford. The Stanford Graduate School of Business is offering more and more courses in an effort to extend its educational capacity to the business world beyond campus.