Frequently Raised Objections (FROs)

I work 8 am to 8 pm, six and sometimes seven days a week and need to be on site most of the time;  I can only do things that are essential and pay off in the short run. Why is the Scalerator’s large investment (about 120 hours over 6 months) worth my time?  Why is the Scalerator an essential short term investment for my business?

For CEO-Owners of $10 million ventures, whether manufacturers, service companies, logistics, retailers or technology providers, every minute of every day counts and taking time from the business is extremely difficult. What Scalerator participants ('”Scalers”) in the past 10 cohorts have told us is that these 120 hours are not truly hours away from their business – they are hours spent working on their business, in particular, actively growing it. In fact, during the Scalerator itself, over 75% of Scalers experience new growth. Then within the 12 months of graduating, 75% of them double their pre-Scalerator growth rates. Even more, 25% of them double their sales profitably within the following two years.

Lori Zindl, CEO and owner of OS Inc. (Milwaukee):

“I was a $5 million provider of health claims management for providers when I started the Scalerator two years ago. I will close 2016 at $10 million. That growth started in the Scalerator.”

Annette Tipton, CEO and owner of Able Access (Milwaukee):

“I have doubled my workforce to 50, built out our delivery platform, and won regional, out-of-state contracts. From Day 1 there was constant pressure in the Scalerator to grow faster than I had been comfortable with.”

Aren’t the topics a bit elementary? I have taken classes and have experience in sales, finance and human resources, and I have an MBA.

The Scalerator focuses on three core areas common to almost all $5-$15 million ventures which the ambitious CEO-Owner can act on and strengthen quickly to unleash rapid new growth, the three “C”s:

· Customers (i.e., market penetration, new customer acquisition, new market acquisition, export marketing, cross-selling, deep-selling, and up-selling; customer value re-positioning; sales strategy, organization, process-engine, and compensation; getting sales and marketing synergies)

· Capacity (i.e., expanding and hardening a powerful people platform that has the culture and cohesiveness to drive and support rapid growth; rapidly moving or removing people obstacles to growth; knowing when and how to hire for critical jobs; developing a leadership style and a culture for a venture 10 times bigger than I am today; leveraging diverse cultures and backgrounds for new growth; learning practical new tactics and strategies for hiring in tough labor markets).

· Cash (i.e., identifying hidden sources of cash; identifying and dealing with the Growth Paradox; crafting impactful growth strategies, a growth mindset and a budget for growth; funding more rapid growth by improving the revenue model and cash management practices; modifying banking relationships to sell you better products.)

No less important, the three Cs are intimately intertwined in real, accelerated venture growth, and the Scalerator gives the Scalers tools to integrate them to build and execute an aggressive, realistic plan for almost-immediate profitable new growth.

What tangible benefits does participation in the Scalerator give me and my venture?

The #1 benefit is new, profitable and sustainable growth. You should expect and plan for first year incremental benefit of $1 to $2 million in top line growth, and anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000 in new free cash flow. You can think of the Scalerator faculty and cohort like a big fitness trainer, a “Scale Up Trainer,” if you will.  You have to do the work. Scalerator provides the proven content, structure, peer support, peer pressure (frankly) and encouragement to actually get the benefit.

Other benefits include:

- Community. Scalers become part of an expanding peer community of rapidly growing companies and acquire a proud new identity as part of the Scalerator community (which is becoming a global community). This identify has tangible benefits.

Support. Rapid growth can be a lonely occupation, and the Scalerator community is there to cheer you on, cheer you up, and provide ongoing peer-to-peer counsel and a culture that supports growth. Post-Scalerator, Scalers frequently meet with each other and share their successes and offer each other ongoing help.

Platform. The Scalerator helps you build a platform for growth based on the 3Cs, a platform that you can continue to build on top of after the Scalerator. For most Scalers, growth during the Scalerator is just the beginning and is in fact accelerated post-Scalerator.

- Opportunity. The combined global Scaler revenues are approaching $500 million, and in three years will reach $1 billion. That is a lot of market access. This powerful new business development platform starts immediately in the Scalerator itself; about one third of each cohort spontaneously start new business with each other during the Scalerator itself.

Signaling. We have seen in other regions that being a Scalerator alum becomes a signal of high potential to bankers, investors, customers, business partners, and key talent because Scalers are ambitious, growing ventures with knowledge, attitude and a support network that makes it worthwhile for them to work with Scalers.

How will I be sure that any confidential information I reveal will stay within the Scalerator?

This is a normal and understandable concern. From the beginning, in addition to committing all participants in writing to respect privacy and uphold confidentiality, we continually monitor this and any breach of the Scalerator Code is dealt with by dismissal from the program. Furthermore, we do not let direct competitors into the same cohort. With the 10th cohort underway now, we have not yet had a confidentiality breach. This leads Scalers to be comfortable in revealing information about their challenges so that the group can help them turn challenges into growth.

Isn’t the Scalerator too academic?

The Scalerator Team has conducted 10 Scalerator cohorts as of EO 2016 (two are underway). In every one of them, 75% of the participants increase their growth trajectories significantly. To date, they have generated approximately $200 million in cumulative new revenues. The teachers are from world class business schools, but more importantly, they integrate their teaching experience with real world experience they have gained as both entrepreneurs and executives. Our faculty also have extensive experience as advisors, investors, mentors or board members of rapidly growing business ventures. The faculty have dirt under their fingers and callouses on their hands as well as critical knowhow in helping CEO/Owners to grow. Furthermore, the faculty are themselves measured by how much you grow, not by what you learn. Scalerator is all about delivering immediately applicable knowledge and practices for Scaling Up.

For more information: Vini Onyemah (vonyemah@babson.edu) or Dan Isenberg (dan@isen.com).