To successfully navigate the second stage of growth -- the scale-up period between $1 million and $10 million in annual sales -- the company will have to build a core group of senior management, Flamholtz says.
The team performs four basic functions: setting the vision, creating the culture and setting up the systems and the operations.
At Gigi Hill, vision and culture are largely the purview of DeSantis-Cummings, he says. Hillman focuses on systems. They both are involved in operations.
"One of the secrets to Starbucks' success is not just coffee and not just the coffee-shop experience, but they had a core group of senior management" that handled key areas, Flamholtz says. "In all the successful companies, we've found this."
At Gigi Hill, "they've got the dynamic duo now and it's fine at $100,000, but it's going to be a stretch at $1 million and definitely at $5 million and $10 million, and at that level they'll be working so hard and running so fast that things will slip through the cracks," he says.
Gigi Hill probably can't afford a third person until it reaches at least $1 million in sales, but between there and $2 million they should start looking, the consultant says.
They can work in two stages by hiring a junior-level person to get them to $5 million or $10 million in sales. After that they'll need a heavyweight who can leverage their strengths in products, markets and culture, he says.
Gigi Hill has a clear idea of what kind of company culture it wants to build and why, Flamholtz says. The owners have honed their marketing message to attract their target independent salespeople, most of whom are mothers. Gigi Hill's founders say the first two years of operation have been like an ongoing focus group that has showed them what these women value: fun, friendship, family and financial freedom.
They hope their research will pay off by helping them to reach their goal to recruit enough salespeople to reach $25 million in sales in five years.
It's a big jump, but the consultant thinks they have a good chance to be successful.
"I gave them some tools and tips on how to avoid pitfalls," Flamholtz says. "I think they have a very high probability of making it happen."