Ways you can build a $100m business

It's the question every business owner wants the answer to. How to build a $100 million business?

It's the question every business owner wants the answer to. How to build a $100 million business?

Philip Weinman and Dr Clive Sher have years of entrepreneurial know-how.

Weinman has spent 30 years building and selling businesses, specialising in IT and travel. Sher has developed numerous healthcare companies in the past 25 years.

Between them, they have made a fortune from building successful businesses. Their latest company, Plan B, was launched in 2010 as a way of streamlining the expensive and complicated business of corporate travel. Turnover in its first year was $1 million, jumping to $28 million the next year. It is on track for a turnover of more than $100 million this financial year.

So what are the secrets to their success?

Make quick decisions

Don't take days to discuss and decide - it only results in costly delays and missed opportunities. A company should function with enough agility to snap up promising prospects, Sher says.

Avoid hierarchical structures

Encourage staff to feel they are equally important to the company and have an equal stake in its fortunes.

Turn a profit, have fun

"We're in business for two reasons - to have fun and make money," says Weinman. "If we can't be doing one, we want to be doing the other. But if we can't do either, we shouldn't be in business."

Find a mentor

"Lots of people have ideas, but many fail moving the idea into the execution stage," Sher says. "To make sure you have a profitable business, look for someone who's done it before and who can provide you with a lot of advice and direction about building a business."

Be passionate

Believe in yourself and take risks. Don't give up when doubts set in - instead, use them to fine-tune the business model and create a stronger company identity.

Rule out negativity

The words "no" and "but" are banned at Plan B. Weinman says this keeps staff searching for solutions to seemingly impossible situations.

Let your clients work for you

Plan B has advisory panels involving clients. Who better to steer a business in the right direction, Weinman says.

Staff: bring your A-game

Employees who don't have anything to contribute to Plan B meetings are told not to attend, Weinman says. "If they don't have anything valuable to say, they don't come," he says. "This is how we breed future leaders."

Hire staff before the rush

Most companies tend to recruit employees after experiencing an increase in trade. But Weinman says it makes more sense to hire before being inundated.

Choose a compatible business partner

Working with a like-minded business partner is a basic business mandate. In addition to working well together, Weinman and Sher say their strengths and weaknesses complement each other's.

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