3 November 2022

Hey Beautiful,

Every new business, no matter how small or large, goes through the five stages of business development. Existence, survival, success, take-off, and resource maturity are examples of these phases. In addition, every stage of small business growth brings with it new challenges that every company must overcome.

Knowing where your company is in the cycle can help you see the solutions you need to put in place, develop growth strategies, and plan for the future.

Whether you’re just thinking about starting a business or have already created one, this guide will give you a bird’s-eye view of the stages of starting and growing a business.

Stage 1: Existence
The company’s business structure is simple during the existence stage, also known as the start-up phase. For the most part, the owner manages or performs all critical operational activities. In the absence of investors, the owner is also funding the entire venture at this point.

Formal planning, such as profit forecasting for the company, is at a bare minimum for many, mainly solo entrepreneurs. For the best chance of success, the owner should conduct market research and develop a business plan.

Many existing businesses that have been successful in introducing their products and services seek new ways to expand. Expansion may imply changing or improving products in response to customer feedback, increasing production, developing new products, or entering a new market to increase their customer base.

Stage 2: Survival
Following the existence stage, the next stage is survival. At this point, the company has demonstrated that it is a viable brand; it has identified a market for its products or services and has gained customers.

Furthermore, most companies at this stage still have a simple structure. Even if the company now has employees, the owner still oversees and makes major business decisions. They may need systems in place for hiring practices, marketing models, and so on. Furthermore, some businesses may still operate with little formal planning, with the company’s goals existing only in the owner’s mind.

Stage 3: Success
Success is the third stage of business development. The company is thriving at this stage of maturity. To ensure consistent profits, it has established a strong presence in the industry. Furthermore, as a mature company, it has the brand recognition and size to be financially stable.

At this point, the company would have grown large enough to require additional employees and, most likely, a couple of managers. At this point, the brand may be completely separate from the owner. Accounting procedures, marketing strategies, and manufacturing systems would also be in place. With other skilled leaders in place, the owner will no longer need to oversee every aspect of the business.

Stage 4: Take-off
Even if a business owner’s primary goal is to maintain its current success, environmental changes and industry trends may force expansion. Companies can experience rapid growth at this stage because they can leverage their streamlined sales, marketing, and operating strategies and processes. The main concern now is, how to expand, and how to fund that expansion.

The brand can expand in various ways, including mergers and acquisitions. The brand’s leadership may also choose to increase its market share by developing new products and entering new markets. In addition, some businesses have considered expanding their existing product and service offerings.

Stage 5: Resource maturity
Following a successful launch in which the company achieved the desired rapid growth, the primary concern of businesses entering the resource maturity stage is proper management of the financial gains from the previous phase. It should also carefully review its systems and processes to address inefficiencies caused by rapid growth.

The company’s current goal is to be around for a long time. The company has the staff, financial resources, and well-developed systems in place to achieve this goal as long as the owner maintains their entrepreneurial spirit and uses the resources available to support the company’s industry standing.

At what growth stage is your business at?

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Yours in Business,

Jeanetta Cardine

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