Every business has stages of growth. It is necessary that business owners and generally, business people understand the intricacies of these stages. It is this understanding that helps them position their businesses for success in the long haul. It does not matter the size of the business or the ideology the owner has about their business.
These stages apply to all businesses. As an entrepreneur, it is vital that you have knowledge of these stages. Therefore, in this article, I will be discussing the seven (7) stages of business growth.
This stage is also known as the idea or seed stage. As the name implies, it is the stage where the business idea is conceived. The entrepreneur is often faced with different options and still trying to figure out the one to develop. At this stage, there is a high risk of the idea dying off, due to challenges such as lack of capital, procrastination or sheer laziness.
At this stage, the entrepreneur has finally decided on the business idea to work on. Here, you will build a concrete business plan/proposal and model. The business processes are formulated at this stage and the business officially kicks off. Most times, you will have to start a business as a sole proprietor, but if recruitment is necessary, you can recruit one or more persons that will work for you, depending on your business model. Your vision, mission, core values and value proposition are determined at this stage.
This stage determines the survival of the business. So, whether or not the business will survive will depend on the outcome of this stage. Here, you will refine your business model, identify your customer base and how storm the market in your niche. At this stage, there is a lot of test–running of your business model and your general processes.
Many startups call this the pilot stage, where they get to test their products, whether it is a physical products or an application. There will be challenges such as high competition, but this is where you identify your competitive advantage and focus on it.
Here, the business is stabilized to a large extent. The model is working and you are getting sales and patronage of your services. You will have an established market and loyal customers who will even keep referring others to your business. However, some businesses at this stage tend to settle. But that shouldn’t be the case. In fact, at this stage, you should strive more to maintain your growth. Keep an eye on your competitors and the changes in the market space.
This is usually the outcome of a productive established stage. It is your strife and constant improvements in the established stage that will transition your business to the expansion stage.
Depending on your business, it is at this stage that you get to open up more business outlets, hire and train more efficient staff, expand to other countries or states and generate more revenue.
This is typically the peak of your business. Here you are constantly improving and competing favourably in the market. This is one stage you need to manage properly because if things aren’t done right, the business will be at the risk of crumbling. Keep up with the pace and gain more market share. You will also need to think of your exit strategy, so the business doesn’t just crash.
Although, there are several businesses that have survived for decades, still, not all businesses will last forever. You will need to have an exit strategy. So, at this stage, since you are most definitely not the sole owner, the company board/shareholders will agree to close the business by selling it off for huge profits or buying shares.
Now you see that no matter the business in question, it will have these stages. It just depends on where you stop in your own business. To have a successful business journey, diligently take it through these stages. I hope this article helps you understand the stages of business growth. Success in your business!Featured Image Source: Mike Raybone
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