Why Growing Your Business Demands A 'Culture Of Consistency'

Small-business guru Karl Palachuk speaks at XChange 2020 about how to make decisions and delegate wisely.


Karl Palachuk

Harold Welch says that something crucial came up during a session at XChange 2020 Tuesday: While leaders need to delegate, it's OK to "start small."

Welch, vice president of technical solutions worldwide at American Fork, Utah-based solution provider Novarad, was in attendance during the conference session from author Karl Palachuk, a managed services pioneer and founder of Small Biz Thoughts.

[Related: Xchange 2020: Storytelling Can Help MSPs Score The Right Business]

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"Great leaders surround themselves with people who execute and can make decisions. Karl pointed out something that's very important—and that is, build trust. Start small. Give somebody a little bit of a rope. Give them the opportunity to succeed," Welch said. "And as that trust is built, you can release all of these decisions you had to make by yourself and trust people to execute on the plan and the vision that put you in business in the first place."

Or, as Palachuk phrased it, "Start with the stuff where 'good enough is good enough,' and then move up."

Palachuk stressed that execution is often only difficult in the small-business and managed services space because there are issues with consistency and commitment to the decisions that are made.

Some of the ways to remedy the situation, he said, may sound pretty basic but are powerful in practice. For instance, talk to plenty of people in your field—peers, business coaches, online groups--before making big decisions, but don't get stuck in decision-making.

"There is essentially no wrong or irreversible decision," Palachuk said. "You don't have to be worried about making the decision because almost everything that you do can be reversed."

Once the decision has been made, write it down—somewhere—and commit to it.

"Whatever your system is, you should have a system," he said.

The next step beyond that is to begin the work of building consistency. And the test for consistency is, is it scalable?

"Whatever process you create, it has to work when you double the size of the company," Palachuk said. "Think about scalablility as you grow your process."

Specifically, "make sure you have a scalable decision-making process," he said. "You can't hand off decision-making [only] in theory but not in practice. If you're going to delegate, you have to delegate."

Ultimately, a smart approach to growing a business will depend upon building a "culture of consistency" with these principles at the core, Palachuk said.

"It's surprisingly straightforward, and takes very little time," he said.