March 31, 2021
Joe Fairless

What it Takes to Become One of the Nation’s Top Companies

The Inc. 5000 is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. Scott Lewis, one of the speakers featured at this year’s Best Ever Conference, is the CEO and co-founder of Spartan Investment Group (SIG). SIG experienced 1,479% growth in 2020, ranking 308th for all industries and 8th for real estate.

In Scott’s presentation, he provided advice on the best practices to implement if you want your business to experience 1000%+ growth and make the Inc. 5000.

Defining your culture

The three parts of your culture are (1) your why, (2), your vision, and (3) your values.

Your culture starts with your why. Why do you do what you do? Why do you go to work each day? Ask yourself these questions and write out the answers. Then, using these answers, formulate a one or two-sentence mission statement. For example, SIG’s mission statement on their website is “to improve lives through real estate.” That is their why. That is why they do what they do. With a company mission statement that reflects your why, you and your team are inspired to show up every day.

The next part of your culture is your vision. Your vision involves where you want to go. To determine where you want to go, you need to understand what success looks like to you. This is more than just a quantitative, “I want to control X dollars in real estate.” It must be a qualitative vision. For example, SIG’s vision on their website is “to build a company where a relentless drive fuels our growth and improves the lives of our team and our investors. To do this, our focus is to provide opportunities for our team to grow and achieve their dreams both personally and professionally. For our investors, we provide only investment opportunities that have been thoroughly scrutinized by our processes. Day in, day out, we work with determination to persevere through every challenge in achieving our goals.”

The third part of your culture is your values. What behaviors do you need to see in your organization to adhere to your mission statement and realize your vision? For example, SIG’s values on their website are summed up by one word, GRITT. That is, growth, respect, integrity, tenacity, and transparency.

Once your culture is defined (that is, you have a mission statement, vision, and set of values), you need to avoid the “say-do” gap. Make sure you don’t say one thing and do another. Otherwise, your culture isn’t believable. Therefore, you must live out your values in order to accomplish your mission and vision.

Developing your plan

With a qualitative vision, you must now set quantitative goals, as well as create a strategic plan on how to accomplish those goals.

To create the best strategic plan, Scott recommends spending 90 days in education mode and another 90 days in development mode before going out and taking action.

When developing the strategic plan, set three overall goals to be accomplished in a three-year period. For each goal, create three to five objectives. For each objective, create at least three key results. For example, one of SIG’s three-year goals is to monetize $250M of commercial real estate with an average margin of 30% and develop $50k of monthly revenue from advisory services. One of the objectives set to accomplish this goal is to build an acquisitions infrastructure capable of nationwide marketing and monetizing 100% of opportunities. SIG has five key results associated with this objective (for example, create a seamless wholesaling process that drives contract to package in less than 3 weeks). Each objective also has a projected completion date and is assigned to a team member.

Overall, you need a goal, multiple objectives for each goal, a plan to achieve that objective, a measure of success, a timeline, and a person assigned to each objective.

Assemble your team

The third piece of advice Scott provided about making the Inc. 5000 list involves how to create your team.

Before finding a partner or bringing on team members, you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. There are plenty of free and paid personality tests that can aid in this process. However, Scott believes the best way is to ask your circle of influence, like friends and family. The best person in your circle of influence to ask is your spouse.

What you really want to know from your friends, family, and spouse are your weaknesses. Once you know your weaknesses, you know who you need to hire – someone who excels at what you are bad at.

When you start to hire people, they not only need to have complementary competencies, but they must also have your company’s values. You can teach most competencies, but you cannot teach character.

Assuming they align with your company’s values and have complementary competencies, you want to understand their experience and track record. Mainly, you want to know if they were successful due to luck or skill.

How to Make the Inc. 5000

Achieving the massive growth required to make the Inc. 5000 list comes down to your team. However, before assembling your team, you need to create the right culture to attract the right people. This includes forming a mission statement, setting a vision, and creating values. Then, you need to create a strategic plan that aligns with your mission, vision, and values. Once this foundation is set, you can assemble your team, focusing on people who align with your values and have complementary skill sets.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.

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