Learn How to Scale Your Business For Success with Jan Cavelle
Jan was running a small business that she started at her kitchen table. While selling furniture her manufacturer quit overnight. She was then put in a position to own and run a manufacturing company. She found that sometimes bigger isn’t always better. We have to scale for success and not let our business outgrow our time, ability, and resources. Jan explains scaling for success.
About the guest:
Jan is an entrepreneur from the UK who has a few decades of running micro and small businesses behind her. She is very familiar with all the challenges that go with that, having started one from the kitchen table when her children were small and she was a single mother, to go on to build that into a multi-million turnover business.
She has known success, winning regional and national awards and known failures too, including ending up burning out.
Jan regrouped, deciding to follow her childhood ambition to write. She has put together a book aimed at helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses during the big leap of 1-10m. The book is called Scale For Success and it is being published by Bloomsbury. The UK publishing date is 4th February 2021 but it is available now for pre-order from Amazon and other good bookstores (details of those on my web site)
Full Transcript Below
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (00:02):
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the business of business podcast. I’m Roy, of course we are the podcast that brings, uh, we bring guests from all disciplines to try to help our entrepreneurs, solo, preneurs, and small businesses. A lot of times, uh, their thing, uh, you know, new and exciting things out there. And sometimes we just have, uh, we have things that we want to try to solve, and we don’t know where to turn. So hopefully, uh, we’ve had a guest on that can help you, or we will have a guest on in the near future.
If not, please reach out to me. I’d be glad to, uh, you know, kind of target some guests based on some issues that the, um, the listeners are having. But today, uh, we are fortunate enough to have Jan Cavell. Uh, Jan is an entrepreneur from the UK who has decades of running micro and small businesses behind her.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (00:54):
She is very familiar with the challenges that go with that. Having started one from the kitchen table when her children were small and she was a single mother to go on to build that into a multi-million turnover business. She has known success winning regional and national wards and known, uh, and known failures too, including ending up burning out, uh, Jan regrouped decided to follow her childhood ambition to write.
She has pulled together a book aimed at helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses during the big leap of one to 10 million. The book is called scale for success and is being published by Bloomsbury. The UK publishing date is the 4th of February, 2021, but it is available now for pre-order from Amazon and other good bookstores. And you can also find details at her website at www dot Jan, J a N C a V E L L E dot C o.uk. Of course, we will publish all that in the show notes as well, but Jan, welcome to the show and thanks for being here,
Roy, I signed to you and I have to say that’s one of the best introductions that anybody’s ever done. That’s brilliant. Thank you.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (02:10):
I’m afraid I didn’t hit all the high points, but we got the good ones. And you know, um, when we first met, what really interested me about you was the scaling, you know, the scaling for success, not only your history where you’ve been, and uh, we’ll talk a little bit about that, but it’s so important to think about, uh, how we scale. And I, I talked to a lot of businesses and that’s where they run into kind of that gap is.
You know, started in my garage or I had this hobby, uh, I was, uh, had a tradecraft that was good at, I ended up just, you know, buying a truck and servicing, but never really gave much thought to how we kind of move past, you know, you know, you referenced the one to 10 million, but sometimes even past that, you know, first, second, third employee. So, uh, but before we get all into that, why don’t you just tell us a little bit about your story and how you got here and, uh, you know, leading up to writing the book.
Wow, wow. Um, toggle two. I will attempt to do that. Uh, as, as you rightly said, I have had a lot of micro businesses and then I found myself as a single mom and thought it’s time to kick on a bet and I’d better take it more seriously. And, um, uh, partly, partly out of intention, partly by chance. I ended up scaling a business really because, um, I, I did want to take it more seriously and grow more better.
Um, but I really didn’t know what I was doing, but, um, I, I sort of, uh, I was selling, um, furniture to interior designers, um, because selling was something I could do from home while I looked off the children and I was boring, a gentleman Southern him. And, um, then I started having a friend who finished it for me cause I couldn’t get it finished anywhere.
Uh, well, um, in the corner of bone. And so that was okay. And then not to call it a bit busy. So I got a small farm unit, um, uh, they’re not by pure chance. Again, the people who were making the financial, um, the owner decides to retire in a hurry. I mean, literally overnight one Friday afternoon, he knocked on my door and said, I’m stopping.
Oh, well, and I know, I know it’s crazy. I mean, two-part crazy. Um, and I still, you know, you better come in and have a chat about this. Um, so, uh, I’ve fed him tea and said, calm down a second. You know, I I’d rolled, need a, an income and I’ve got people waiting for this furniture. And I said, I don’t care. Um, and I said, well, I do. And so we had several words over a several cups of tea.
The long short of it was that I agreed that he could retire that weekend. I would pay him on and never, never for his business. So I ended up with a making bets as well. Wow. And, uh, it’s literally a sudden assault, I mean, within a couple of hours. Yeah. So it took me a little while to digest this farm that I then had to two tiny businesses. Um, I had a fairly long, long drive between the mother and my kids’ school, the opposite direction.
Um, you know, the whole thing was clearly a nice idea, but poorly impractical. So I thought we’d better get a proper unit. Um, uh, the only thing I could find was this rolled overlord factory, but Arthur blots, okay. It’s in the right place geographically. And so I signed a lease and then of course, I didn’t know anything about factories had never had a factory in my life. So it cost a fortunate kid hard. Um, I was in so much trouble just to pay off the debt I had to really, really start scaling. So that’s how I got into scanning by pure disaster. Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (06:06):
Yeah. And, you know, as we talked, uh, uh, in our brief conversation that we have few days ago, I think that was one thing that you did bring out was, um, you know, obviously you were thrust into this with your situation, then that is not the way I like to end my weeks with somebody laying that one on me on Friday afternoon.
But, uh, that, you know, you need to make sure that this is really what you want and, and I’m talking about scaling, you know, if you’re a one man show, you have to think about everything that goes with scaling and make sure that you really, really want that you’re not doing it just because you think it’s the thing that needs to be done or you or everybody else is doing it.
Absolutely. And there is this huge thing I know, which I think is even worse because entrepreneurship Scott’s sort of fashionable and everybody thinks big is good and big isn’t necessarily good at all. You know? I mean, I know, I shouldn’t say that. I was like, you know, I mean written a book about scaling, but, but it isn’t, you know, you can have a really good business that suits you, it suits your lifestyle, it may bring you a good income and it would be totally wrong. Just go, why spoil it? Right. Um, you know, it’s right. For some people in some businesses and it’s really important that people make that distinction you’re quite right. Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (07:22):
Yeah. Because it, you know, and we’ll take your example. You know, the furniture building part is that, uh, I may be a good craftsman and can build a really nice piece of furniture,. But all of a sudden, if I’ve got employees I have to manage.
I’ve got multiple equipment, maybe multiple locations. I’ve got the books taxes. I mean, you get all of this other stuff that multiplies when you, you know, increase or when you scale and you. You really have to be ready for that. You have to plan for it too. I mean, because it, that is where I see and, you know, you talk to about burnout and that’s where I see a lot of people get burned out. They love what they do, or they love what they did. They don’t necessarily love that business. End of it.
That’s fairly true. I mean, I actually stayed loving that business for a very long time after that. Um, but, uh, it did catch my pitch. Eventually when you fall out of love with the business, you walked Godard rat, um, keeping going if is as stupid as growing for growing sake. Right.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (08:30):
Well, and that’s why we, you know, that’s exactly why I started this show is because, you know, just talking to people that somehow they had fallen into a business and then it grew, some of them had very good fortune and it grew, and then they had all the complications that go with that.
And so, you know, bringing on guests like yourself to try to help solve these problems, that’s really the Genesis of this show. I mean, I’m selfish the fact that I get to learn from all of my awesome guest as well, but, um, you know, it’s a real thing. So you have to think about that. And, um, you know, I think one thing that you’ve mentioned too, uh, before is that, so what we need to do is surround ourself with a good support team, mentors and advisors. Let me preface that. I’ll let you say it, but let me preface it by, that’s not your mother.
I mean, my mother is a good business person, but, but she, uh, you know, she might not, uh, she may not be as blunt and as truthful as what I would need her to be in business decisions. So I think we have to find people that we trust that we respect their opinion too.
Yeah. It’s a real challenge actually, to find that particularly now, because the market, so of crowded with support systems for entrepreneurs, I mean, you only have to bridge to get 64 proposals from a business coach generally. Um, but, um, it’s, it’s really, really hard to find the right support system.
And with, with respect to business coaches who have awesome, very good ones, I, you know, I think more entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to have got more help from other entrepreneurs or people who started in the same time as them and cannot share, which is as well. I ended up getting support from actually people who are going through the same thing or had gone through the same thing.
I think finding people to talk to in your sector who have, you know, I’ve done find the problems, be it manufacturing, for example, you know, manufacturing they’ll have a few problems are special to it. Um, um, you know, only manufacturing people would understand that. Um, but you know, that’s the same with every sector. Again, your mum wouldn’t understand unless you’ve been in the same sector.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (10:49):
Exactly well, and, uh, you know, I think in the past we’ve always felt like, um, a board was for, you know, bigger, larger companies. And I think that, you know, as entrepreneurship or, you know, solo preneurs, smaller businesses have, you know, really, um, become the norm now that we are understanding that we do need those advisors surrounding us.
And, and it’s, you know, we can have more than one. We just have to have a team that we trust. And, you know, I know some guys that, um, they are in like businesses and, you know, they go eat breakfast once a month and they talk about things a lot of valuable. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Because then it’s like, you know, one guy was saying he had a, you know, an employee issue and another one said, Hey, I just had that same thing. And these are some things I learned from that.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (11:45):
So yeah, it can be invaluable to surround yourself with, um, you know, others from the industry. And, you know, sometimes we, um, uh, we want to horde, uh, our industry or our knowledge or our business from others, but you know, what there, most of the time there’s room for success for more than one company in, in an area. So we shouldn’t necessarily worry that if me and Jan are competitors, that we can’t both be successful if we were, you know, kind of talking about things. I mean, you have to be careful on the collusion side and not price setting. And, you know, I’m not talking about illegal stuff. I’m just talking about the business processes that we could survive in the same, uh, market and both be successful, but be able to talk about those things.
I think that’s true. I mean, I think there are, you know, I never to play one or two people who are sharp and would take advantage of that. Um, but you know, on the whole, people are straight and now willing to help you and looking to you for help and once worked together for the mutual. Good. Okay, great.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (13:00):
Yeah. I think we, uh, you know, we draw, don’t draw the line at just, uh, other entrepreneurs, but I think it’s also important to surround ourself with other professionals, uh, CPAs lawyers, uh, you know, payroll people, if we get that big, because it’s, you know, and I use this for an example quite a bit that, you know, my, uh, um, I’m a finance guy as well. And that’s what I spent a lot of time in.
And I could do my own taxes every year, but I don’t. I take them to a lady, been doing them for years. She’s a professional. She does that for a living. And so what it does, it allows her, she stays on top of these, you know, they get these tax advisories or bulletins that come out all through the year.
So she’s got this accumulated knowledge through the year that I’m not going to be able to sit down on January the second and think, okay, I’ve got to catch up on all the changes for this last year and feel like I could do a good job. And so again, it’s just a, I think it’s a justification that, you know, we need to choose experts in our field, just the way that we want people to choose us to work for them as experts in our field.
I upset agree I’m in the good, it’s good. Ex-pats as you rightly say, go on, you know, PD courses, um, keep up to date for Lakeland latest legislation. I mean, I don’t know what it’s like in the States, but I’m in the HR, um, legislation I’ve ahead of changes quicker than you can breathe and see the way you as a business, keep up with it.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (14:36):
Yeah. Well, and with this pandemic, you know, I think it’s made everything even, even shakier the HR side, the, uh, uh, tax. Yeah. Yeah. Cause there’s going to be a lot of exceptions, a lot of different things and yeah, well, I don’t want to get into this too deep, but they, they did, you know, I was hearing the, uh, this morning, they are in the States. They’re saying that, you know, the question is now, can your employer force you to get this vaccination? That’s just,
I’ve got the same email this morning,
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (15:12):
Huge debate going forward. If you can, uh, you know, people can get accepted anyway, that’s just going to be, again, it’s one of these things that we would need to seek guidance from somebody.
I would indeed you’d need to surround yourself with experts on that one.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (15:28):
Once we kind of get our team in place, I guess we also want them to have the right mindset. We, um, if we do want to grow and we want to scale, we need to surround ourselves with a team that, um, kind of has not, they don’t, they don’t have to have that vision, but they can understand it and not hold us back as well.
Yeah. I mean, as in team of team of employees or such, or, or small people who work for you who have shares or whatever. Yeah. Very much so. And it’s that one, I think that comes up of the more people as baked you more business owners. I speak to that’s the one that’s the make or break that’s for one that drives people to jump off cliffs or to celebrate.
And, you know, it’s so hard to get that right team, um, to get to, as you say, to get them to buy into, to some extent, um, and to be capable of growing with the business, you know, you can have people who’ve been there from the start and great, and, you know, uh, for example, good craftsman or something, but it doesn’t mean to say that they’re going to end up running a multi-million pound corporation. You know, they ain’t got it in my neighborhood. They have no wish to either that changeovers really hard, really hard.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (16:45):
Yeah. That’s a good, uh, an example of when I was younger, I worked for a major corporation here and the way that we, uh, chose our management, where, you know, if you’d been there the longest, or if you, you know, if they came out to some people and said, Hey, we were looking for a manager, does anybody in here want it? You know? And then yeah.
And that just because somebody just will take the furniture example just because I’m an awesome craftsman and I can build a great piece of furniture that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to be a good manager over people who are building furniture. So there’s a lot of predictive tests out there, you know, too. I think that’s careful that we probably add that in is that, you know, if you want to bring these people along in a corporation, make sure that they are suitable for that job. Not just that they have, uh, a craft skill set to do the end job, but to make sure that they can manage people
And they have to want to share. I mean, other craftsmen, for example, actually have no interest. They, they love what they do. They don’t want to go and do something else and a manager, you know, they want to make furniture or whatever.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (17:52):
Right. So the other thing too, I think that we, um, want to take into consideration is systemization. And along with that can be delegation. I know some things that you’ve spoke about before are, uh, you know, we don’t have to do it all. So we have to learn to delegate and we have to systemize when we can.
Yeah, very much. So I have to let go of baby, but you know, it’s interesting. That’s a man. I call my, for a mansion to achieve as a felon, new book height, um, by, uh, called systemology on the awesome argues that, um, actually, I mean, he’s right about this versus for sure. Um, for most entrepreneurs can’t stand the idea of doing systems. And so they don’t do vaguely know if they should do it, but don’t do it right.
And he argues that actually, if therefore, they are the most atrocious people to do, the system was ocean. They just need to do to, to map out for best customer journey once and then find out who’s loves doing systems and, uh, business, um, and leave it to them, which makes a lot of sense to me. If I thought I could do that much better system.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (19:10):
Well, we don’t think, um, I don’t think we realize in our day to day activities, uh, the thing, the little things that we do. Um, so if you were to come and sit in my chair for a day, I could tell you the big stuff, but there are a lot of little bitty things that I do. And so, you know, when we talk about systemization is the very first thing is to write it down and, you know, have a, have a document that says, this is the process and the procedure.
So, uh, number one, we can always be changing it and making it better. But also too, we have to have somebody new come in that seat. We can tell them exactly what, not just, I don’t know, Joe did something and it just made it happen. We don’t know what the magic was. So be sure and get that magic on paper.
Absolutely. Because you know, people have their own lives and however wonderful. They aren’t the, to the company, there are, they may come a time when they have to leave in a hurry. And if you’ve relied on them, because they’re so early Lynch and you’ve never written it down, you’re going to be absolute, it’s dark. And it stops you growing as well. The moment you can ride it on you couldn’t chip.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (20:21):
Right? Yeah. And I think it also gives us the chance to improve on it. If we really don’t know what is going on, it’s hard to improve that. Where if it’s written down, we can see step one, two, three. Maybe we need to add something in there. So very important documentation. And, um, uh, you know, again, it lets us nurture that talent. We can show somebody the job description and say, this is what you’re gonna do. You know, they may be like, uh, not, not for me
At sat me isn’t for me. Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (20:53):
So I’m in delegation, you know, I think that’s another thing that this is my baby. I’ve done everything. It’s hard. I am not going to say that it’s something that’s easy to do, but that’s where we get back to hiring good people, having processes and procedures in place. But we’ve got to be able to, to turn some authority over to other people,
Upset, you have to like have that baby and not micromanage micromanage is for quickest Kellogg to their enthusiasm going in. If they fail on to valued on a trust edge and uninfused, you know? Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (21:32):
Yeah. Because we do, we kill that enthusiasm that, uh, if you’re always telling me this is the way and no, no, no. Well, when I have a good idea, I’m just going to say like, you know what, I’m not doing that anymore. Cause it’s just too much of a headache. And so, uh, you know, sometimes we’re going to have good ideas. Sometimes we’re gonna have bad, but we need to nurture that from our employees, if we want to grow and scale
Couldn’t agree more. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (21:59):
Yeah. So the, I guess the, the, the next last and biggest thing is we need to have an end game.
Yeah. And so many people don’t, they did, I never had bond. You know, I remember sitting in my office saying, you know, they’ll have to drag me out of here. I love what I do. Um, but, uh, and, and you know, that, that, that those people who surface sort of take that approach of, you know, just go and doing it.
Cause I love it. Um, they other people who, um, just say I’m about time to think about it, just, I’m going to think about it. I’ve got a unit we’ll have to wait till next month it’s and of course, next month now it becomes. Um, but the problem with that is it’s a bit like your favorite employee who has something going on in their personal life. You don’t know when life’s going to hit you and it makes you sing. I am too tired of this. All of a sudden, or I have a personal prices or health crisis, or just, you know, for whatever reason you want to type life, life throws us curve balls.
And if you haven’t got that business into a state that you might be able to sell it, you know, all those years will be wasted and you’ll be unable to take off and do whatever you want to do and get no benefit from it. You might even be lumbered with the DMS thing and not be able to get out it either.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (23:26):
Yeah. Two things come to mind is like you said, that something happens. And once the business starts going downhill, then nobody wants to buy it because it’s, it’s in a shambles, a number one, or you just you’re going to sell it at a discounted rate. But the other thing I think I would, I can speak to from experiences, uh, the solo preneurs or the smaller businesses where it’s built around one person.
And they don’t think that, um, if, if you don’t nurture your other talent to come up, then what, what I’ve seen is at the end of time or at, you know, when it’s time for the end game, that all the value is actually in the person that is leaving. And so, you know, it’s like another company is not going to want to come in and pay anything because there’s no value there. The value is the person who’s leaving.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, and it does a really usual one. And I mean, I remember as, as I started to grow, I mean, there was somebody who wanted to come in with me or buy the business off me and he said to me, you know, cause you, you know, if you want to leave, forget it. So I’m not interested. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and it, it did, it made me twice and, you know, realize that it’s about six actually, that you have to make business run without you. You can’t be the business. Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (24:52):
Yeah. And you have to, you know, there has to be, you have to put your other people out in front of clients. So they know somebody else exists at that business and not just, uh, you know, think it’s you. It’s sad because a lot of solo preneurs professionals, you know, they’re in their practice. And then when they get to the end, they can’t extract any value out of the practice, you know, for themselves in retirement, which that’s kind of what they’ve always thought is I’m going to have this as my nest egg. Then unfortunately, it’s just not
So many people fall in step one. I mean, even people with quite big businesses, but, you know, because they’re prepared and United still, they may have 20, 30 staff, but it still relies on well on them. There’s no nest egg. That’s awful. Right. Exactly. Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (25:42):
Well, Jan, we appreciate you coming on. Uh, I usually don’t harass my guests, but I was gonna say your, uh, uh, your accent sounds like that is a deep East, Texas accent.
Ah, yeah. [inaudible] it’s Texas.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (26:03):
So you’re originally from Australia. Is that correct?
No, my son is in Australia. My, um, well sort of personally a polyglot cause my grandma’s was from Boston. Um, so I don’t know if it’s the whole accident you’re picking up. I’ll try back. But, uh, but yeah, Boston rolled to Burton, Texas and my father was a skull. So on my son is Australian. Interesting. Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (26:33):
Well, if you don’t mind tell everybody, uh, you know, kind of tell them a little bit about the book coming out, but if somebody else wants to get with you, um, you know, on trying to scale, you know, how can they reach out and get ahold of you?
Yeah, please do. I mean, you know, I am very open to, um, somebody wants to send me an email, get in touch with a website. If you’ve got a, got an issue, I can’t promise you I’ll help, but I promise you I’ll try. And, um, you know, just leap on that website, um, which we can, one day is going to put him on notes, China, UK, um, um, uh, I’ll see what I can do.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (27:12):
Okay, great. Well again, uh, so, uh, one thing I failed to ask you there too was, so what is a tool that you use in your daily life? It can be personal professional, it’s a tool, a habit or ritual, but something that you do every day that you just couldn’t do without? Um,
No, of course like so many people on a practical basis, it serves him around, you know, here we are on it, not right now. Um, so, you know, that’s become pretty indispensable because, and talking to people for a such my book came all to my G now everything is zoom, zoom, zoom. Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (27:55):
Yep. Nope. I understand. And it’s, uh, it’s, you know, I think it’s been good to keep us connected. I don’t feel, um, you know, I’m very fortunate. I don’t feel isolated, I get to talk to awesome people like you every day. But, um, it’s been a way to stay connected are, you know, we did our Thanksgiving this year over zoom.
Uh, my, you know, both of our mine and my girlfriend’s parents are both elderly. You know, my mom would kill me if she heard me say, call her elderly, but you know, they there around that eighties and, um, you know, we just couldn’t take a chance. So yeah. Zoom has been a, it’s been a blessing in a lot of ways, uh, getting through this pandemic. Right.
I agree. I wouldn’t deal with that.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Learn How To Scale Your Business For Success (28:39):
All right. Well, thanks again for taking time out of your day to be with us. We certainly appreciate it again. You can find us at www dot the business of business podcast. We’re also on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. We will be posting, uh, we’re also in all the major, uh, uh, podcast platforms, iTunes, Google play, Stitcher, uh, Spotify, and a couple more of the big ones that we’ve just gotten on.
If we’re not on the, uh, something that you listened to please reach out. We’d be glad to, uh, submit it form, but, uh, please share. And, um, give us any feedback that you may have, and you can also find a recording of this video on YouTube. All right, Jan, until next time, take care of yourself. Okay.