‘Pushing your head through the glass ceiling’ or scaling your business from SME to industry leader

Posted in News & Press  ·  29th June 2024

Transitioning your business from a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) to a much larger entity is akin to pushing your head through the glass ceiling. This metaphor represents breaking through the limitations that often constrain growth and moving into a new realm of opportunities. The journey involves significant changes, from being hands-on in every aspect of the business to establishing dedicated departments and employing industry experts. Here’s how you can make this leap and set your business on a path to exponential growth.

The Step Change: From hands-on to delegation

As an SME owner, you might find yourself deeply involved in every aspect of your business, from marketing and sales to product development and customer service. While this hands-on approach is essential in the early stages, it can become a bottleneck as your business grows. The key to breaking through the glass ceiling is to delegate responsibilities to specialised departments. This step change involves:

  1. Establishing departments: Create distinct departments such as Marketing, Sales, Operations, Human Resources, and Finance. Each department should have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
  2. Hiring industry experts: Employ individuals with expertise in their respective fields. These experts bring in-depth knowledge and experience, enabling your business to operate more efficiently and strategically.
  3. Empowering your team: Trust your team to make decisions and manage their areas effectively. This empowers them and fosters a sense of ownership and accountability.

The ‘Leap of faith’

Transitioning from an SME to a larger entity requires a leap of faith. It involves letting go of some control and trusting others to manage critical aspects of your business. This can be challenging, but with the right expertise in place, your business is poised to take off. Here are some tips to navigate this leap:

  1. Strategic planning: Develop a strategic plan that outlines your growth objectives and the steps needed to achieve them. This plan should include timelines, milestones, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress.
  2. Continuous learning: Stay informed about industry trends and best practices. Attend workshops, seminars, and networking events to gain insights and connect with other business leaders.
  3. Adaptability: Be prepared to adapt your strategies as needed. The business landscape is constantly evolving, and flexibility is crucial for long-term success.

Richard Branson’s wisdom

Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, once said, “Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your business.” This quote underscores the importance of valuing and supporting your staff. When employees feel appreciated and empowered, they are more likely to be motivated and productive, driving your business forward.

The benefits of expert leadership

With the right team in place, your business can benefit in numerous ways:

  1. Increased Efficiency: Experts bring streamlined processes and best practices, improving overall efficiency.
  2. Enhanced Innovation: A diverse team of experts fosters creativity and innovation, leading to better products and services.
  3. Scalability: With a solid organisational structure, your business is better equipped to scale and handle increased demand.


Pushing your head through the glass ceiling and scaling your business from an SME to a larger entity is a transformative journey. By establishing departments, hiring industry experts, and empowering your team, you can overcome growth barriers and achieve sustainable success. Remember Richard Branson’s advice: take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your business. This approach not only drives business growth but also creates a positive and productive work environment.

For further reading on business growth and leadership, consider these books:

  1. “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership” by Richard Branson: Insights from one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.
  2. “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins: An exploration of what makes companies thrive and grow.
  3. “Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It… and Why the Rest Don’t” by Verne Harnish: Practical strategies for scaling a business successfully.

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