We all know there is an ebb and flow to business. The most successful companies minimize the pull of the tide in the business cycle by minimizing the impact from external factors. They do so by staying ahead with technology, and keeping both client and employee satisfaction high. But regardless of the size of your business and how plugged-in you attempt to be, all companies eventually find themselves at a Turning Point.

For large corporations, it may be a change in leadership at the very top. We all read the news of CEOs at some of the biggest corporations being swapped in and out on what seems like an 18-month rotation. With headlines like “PepsiCo CEO: We’ve never seen consumers so confused,” it’s clearly critical for all businesses to be ready and able to capture segments of the marketplace necessary to their continued success and survival in their industry. Keeping things running smoothly and paying the bills is simply not enough.

For small and mid-size companies, a Turning Point typically looks like one of two scenarios: extreme growth or extreme scarcity. Each of these events has its own pain points. When extreme growth occurs at a rapid pace, a company finds itself struggling to keep up with the needs and demands of its customers. Growth also leads to potential site expansion, technology reevaluation, and production concerns.

Extreme scarcity is a different story. That occurs when the bills are coming in and the revenue is not. Many entrepreneurs know what to do here and live “comfortably” here for long periods of time. They waiver between scarcity and security, back and forth for most of their professional careers, hiding behind a big wall called the fear of success.

Regardless which example most closely aligns with your business, the question is: What do you do when faced with a Turning Point in your business? It comes down to three steps:

1. Streamline. This means identifying the top objectives you need to achieve in order to navigate through your current circumstance. Typically, this will be three goals, specifically written with detailed time frames. This means temporarily taking other projects off the strategic plan until you transition through this Turning Point.

2. Systemize. I believe you can solve many obstacles in business by implementing systems. Once you are clear on the three most important objectives, it is time to systemize your approach to achieving those goals. Your system must be activity-based. This is the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the plan. Get the details in place so you and your team are clear on the execution.

3. Stretch. This is the mind-set of the Turning Point. This is where you need to be ready and willing to dig deeper than you have before. And if you are a leader, it is time to lead like no other time before! It’s time to use your words and actions to inspire, to thank, and to support those around you so you have a team that will dig down deep with you. There is no box to think outside of – because you have blown it up! What will you do today and tomorrow and the day after that will feel different? Look different? And scare you just a little bit? That is Stretching, and that is what will get you through to massive success in your Turning Point.

I had a Turning Point this summer. It felt scary and made my stomach turn; still does. But I have seen greatness come from it. I have done things and achieved things I never would have otherwise. I hope you get to feel a little sick to your stomach for all the right reasons really soon.

About Your Columnist

Deanna Potter is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence where she covers how to systemize, prioritize and profitize companies. Deanna is the author of From Distress to Success and founder of Potter Coaching & Consulting. She is a “Profit Planning” expert speaker, trainer, coach and project implementation specialist, helping professionals and companies to SYSTEMIZE, PRIORITIZE, and PROFITIZE their business.

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