Improve and expand: Michael Scully’s advice from America
Michael Scully recently spoke to a meeting of independent entrepreneurs from the Appco Group network about the importance of expansion and change. He drew on his long career as an entrepreneur in the UK, Australia and now the United States.
When I moved to the US in 2010 to help set up Appco in the country, I wondered how we would establish ourselves in such a large market. How could we build and sustain an organisation on that scale?
Yes, expansion is scary. But, more importantly, expansion is necessary for the future of your business.
When you expand, you have the opportunity to create more revenue and reinvest that revenue back into your business. This helps you to grow even further – it’s a cycle.
What we’ve learned from America is not just the importance of expansion for its own sake, but also the importance of what expansion does for the people you work with because, for the people in your business, expansion is opportunity.
It creates options and new horizons for everyone, from yourself, to your staff, to the suppliers, freelancers and independent contractors you may work with.
How do you make big changes to your business?
Slowly! Running a successful business isn’t just about expansion. It’s also about improvement and asking how we maintain high standards and best practice.
Big changes are hard in business – especially in a big business – not least because you often have to change the attitudes of a lot of people.
The secret to bringing about great changes is to be in a constant state of improvement. Keep making 1% changes. Business isn’t always about making big and bold changes, sometimes it’s better to change over time. Over a long period, the cumulative effect of making lots of 1% changes will improve your business no end.
If you’re able to create a company culture that keeps making small changes, if you and the people you work with are inspired and encouraged to keep making 1% improvements every day, you’ll create a nimble and effective company, ready to respond and change as it needs to.
America is one of the most challenging and exciting places in the world to do business, and I think what I’ve learned here I can apply everywhere: keep expanding, keep reinvesting and keep changing.