What Stage is Your Business?
We believe “Size Matters Less than Stage.” We help growing companies so it’s more about your “business stage” than your annual revenue.
We tend to help businesses that are at the TEENAGER stage.
So, what Stage is Your Business?
The 10 Stages of the Life Cycle of a Business
STAGE 1: BIRTH OF A BUSINESS
This is the the ‘stage of certainty’ of your business. Most people at this stage work to meet their own needs and have a job, not a business.
To succeed, you need to think of the needs of the business as different from your own needs.
STAGE 2: INFANCY
In this stage of business you enter a race for survival. You need to hire a person to handle the increased workload that has resulted from the successful birth of your business.
Serious problems at this stage are knowing the difference between Revenue and Profits and you focus entirely on production. Cash flow is a challenge.
STAGE 3: TODDLER
You have now begun to build your own management team but you still maintain absolute control (your team works together but still relies on you for all core decisions).
Cash flow is still a concern, but you’re making significant progress, the business now can walk and talk, so now there are others that can make decisions and create problems.
STAGE 4: TEENAGER (this is the Stage of Business we tend to work with the most)
You have started to develop a professional team to manage the business. Growth is your primary focus and innovation in both product, services, and sometimes multiple companies.
Problems at this stage are the lack of systems, lack of fundamental understanding of the downside of decisions, and over-confidence in making decisions that can ultimately kill or damage the business.
STAGE 5: YOUNG ADULT
Better understanding of the future and making more educated and committed choices. Here you see a rebirth of identity, where you begin to settle down and get serious.
The focus is on what not to do, control, measurement and systems and most importantly, on increasing Profits versus Revenues.
Physiological difficulties for the founder and creators in the organization because the business is now going into a controlled measurement mode and the entrepreneur’s nature to create new things can throw the organization back into the teenager stage or destroy it.
STAGE 6: “THE PRIME” (ZONE OF MAXIMIZATION & MATURITY)
The business is no longer run by the wishes of one person: it’s led by a message, values, and a reason for being. The organization knows who they are, who they are not, and what they will do in the future.
Goals at this stage are to increase revenue and Profits and to create an organization that has a vision it brings to the world.
Problems during this stage are around costs not being managed well and systems & people begin to lower their intensity.
STAGE 7: MID-LIFE EVALUATION
To rejuvenate and create innovation to meet customers needs in new ways. The focus is on innovation including internal systems and controls.
Often in this stage the management team needs a refresh, new creativity and if possible, re-engagement of the founder/visionary/owner.
Problems here are around the people: some of the original team may have aged and be at a different life stage and not have the same level of commitment to the vision or the business. The owner/visionary or original stake-holder may have left the business.
STAGE 8: AGING
If you are not transforming your business, the breakdown of your business will start to accelerate.
Problems in this stage are a mix of everything: people problems, processes, and customer problems. Entropy is in full swing.
STAGE 9: INSTITUTIONALIZATION
The organization should be dead but is kept alive artificially through subsidization or nationalization. The only things keeping you alive are the systems, rules, policies and procedures.
STAGE 10: DEATH
With no vision anymore and no people to support it, your business unravels and dies.