I’ve created over 753 strategic plans for entrepreneurs. At the core of each one are two things: Simplicity and Scale.

Here are eight things to cover in your strategic plan to grow with less complexity.

Before we jump in – it’s important to realize that the same things that make your business fun (and profitable) to run are the things that make it irresistible to buyers when you want to exit. So you’re getting a double benefit focusing on these 8 keys.

Here are the keys:

1. Margin

Make sure you know your margins and they’re healthy for your industry. Too many entrepreneurs put their head in the sand because numbers are scary. Here’s the hack: just ask your bookkeeper for a report. And read it. Seriously, the numbers are already done for you.

2. LTV

Know the lifetime value of a customer. If you don’t know what a customer is worth you’re flying blind. You can’t plan marketing, staffing, or growth. Know and grow this number.

3. Systems

All wealth comes from systems. A company is a machine that takes in capital, people, and resources and produces customers and profit. Without defined systems you don’t have a machine. You have a medieval workshop. Those suck to work in.

4. Optimization

Optimize your processes to deliver higher quality for less time and expense. Many businesses can increase profits significantly by just fixing poorly run processes – and use that cash to scale. You’ll need to – scaling with bad processes is a recipe for failure.

5. Delegation

Learn to delegate the right way. A company where the owner is necessary isn’t a business, it’s a job. Learning how to delegate in a way that’s a win for both you and your team is an invaluable skill.

6. Management

Manage your team with clear goals and accountability. That starts at the top. For consistent results make sure to use business scorecards to manage by numbers, not by emotion.

7. Hiring

Compromising on hiring because you just “need a body” will cost you in the long run. Hiring an A-Player will multiply your business. The wrong hire can set you back years (it happened to me).

8. Retention

A company scales by upgrading product, team, and customers. Keep the right people, and shed the rest.

The Scale Cycle

These eight factors are part of my Scale Cycle that helps entrepreneurs how to scale their business with simplicity. Start by picking the one that will have the biggest effect on your company, tackle it, then move on to the next. Then… Repeat. It seems simple, because it is.

Get a weekly list of short, actionable steps to scale your company with simplicity in the Boardroom Bulletin™.