Back to Blog
The whole point of being in business isn't just to make a few dollars. Sure, it's nice, but if you only ever stay at a small size, your potential to do so much more will never be fully realized. Every business should be constantly aiming to grow in new directions, which can lead to some amazing things for your company. It can lead to more profitability, a larger market share, and provide jobs as you begin to add staff. New staff can bring in many other experiences and ideas to help your business grow. Make sure you utilize your staff well and keep the good ones around. Pay them more, promote them, give them incentives to perform well, and they will be happy which means that you will be happy having an employee who will treat your company like it's their own.
There are five stages of growth that every business goes through. This list will give you a good breakdown of what the stages are, and what to expect. That way, you can pay close attention to where you're at and it will help you grow properly at the right time for your business.
Here is a list of the five stages and what to expect at each step along the way:
1. Developmental Stage - A precursor to this stage can be done through a feasibility study to see if your idea makes sense. Once you have decided on your idea or a concept and would like to pursue it, it's now time to start putting together a business plan. Your business plan should be clear and set a course for the duration of your company. It's wise to regularly check in on your plan and revise, add or subtract as needed so that you can keep up with the requirements of your business. Doing this will ensure that you continue to grow and put your resources into the right areas so there is as little wasted potential as possible. After you do your check-in reviews, you can identify the target areas affected. Having a continuous cycle like this will enable you to max out your chances of being successful. A well-done business plan also provides great opportunity if you need an investor. It needs to be clear, concise and show exactly what your plan is. Then it will attract the right investor There are a few key questions to ask yourself at this stage:
2. Start-up Stage - This stage is probably the scariest part, it's no wonder that many entrepreneurs back out at this point. This is where it gets real and once you commit, there's no turning back. Congratulations to you if you're at this stage, it can be scary yes, but it's also extremely exciting to see your idea come to life. Some challenges you need to be aware of at this stage:
3. The Growth Stage - Now that you've successfully gotten through the start-up stage, your company is really starting to grow. At this point, you should be generating decent revenue from your customer or client base. You do need to be careful at this stage as well, because while you are growing, now you're likely going to be facing tough competition from your competitors. Taking your business to the next level now requires some fine-tuning of your business plan. You want to improve your operational efficiency, as well as improve your profitability. You need to analyze your key areas of profit and then figure out a strategy to increase the profit while incurring the lowest costs possible. Some areas you may face challenges at this stage:
4. Expansion Stage - Now that you've grown so much, it's time to look at expansion. Businesses that are in this stage are looking to acquire a larger market share and look for new ways to bring in more revenues and profits. Careful planning is required at this stage. Key research into new market areas is vital. Otherwise, you might make a mistake that could cost a lot of money, time and effort. Expanding is a very exciting area for a business as well, it shows you are truly thriving, but still requires you to be efficient and careful. Some challenges that you may face at this stage:
5. Maturity Stage - Now you've reached maturity, it's amazing to see what was just once a thought, has now become a reality. Because you stuck closely to the stages of growth and your business plan, your company has now become a well-oiled machine. It should be very stable and profitable. While this is the final of the five stages, you don't want to just sit back at this point and not find ways to improve your business. A company that begins to have slow growth at this stage will likely want to revisit key areas and again, find new ways to bring in revenue and profits. You may also have decided that it's time for you to move on, in which case you will want to have a great exit strategy. There are a few challenges you will face at this stage:
As you can see, all these stages are vital areas to be aware of as your business continues to grow. Knowing where to look for help at each stage will ensure that your company continues to be a success!