Did you know that every business goes through five predictable stages of growth during its lifetime?
I call these stages the ‘Five Steps to Freedom’. You can see them mapped out on this diagram:
It's a helpful tool to understand as where you are on the curve, determines which business strategies and investments work best for you. In this article, I'll outline each of the business growth stages you can identify where you are today, and what’s involved in reaching the next stage as smoothly, and without dipping too far below your break-even point.
To know more about how to pass from your current stage to the next level of business growth, here are some insights – but you are welcome to speak to me for more details too.
Did you know that every business goes through five predictable stages of growth during their lifetime? I call these stages the ‘Five Steps to Freedom’. Here's what they look like and how to move to your next stage of business growth...
The 5 Stages of Business Growth
Stage 1: CREATION
The Creation stage is exciting, but can be daunting. There’s so much to know, so much to learn and so much to do! It’s a steep learning curve, so it's great to have a coach, mentor or someone you trust by your side at this stage.
At the creation stage, you'll be busy researching. Trying to figure out what kind of business model will work best in your chosen market, and how you can deliver value, who you want to deliver this value to and how you will make money. Understanding your value proposition will be key at this stage of business growth as you'll want to raise awareness of your business and offer. So you need to be able to express this quickly, clearly and consistently. Once you launch your business and move into the aptly named ‘Chaos stage’.
Stage 2: CHAOS
There is a lot going on at the Chaos stage, hence its name. You’ve launched your business and you've started to work with your first clients, congratulations! Now you have to keep that going! There are usually three things that go on in the chaos step. You're spending money like crazy as you build on what you’ve learned so far and start driving business growth through your tactical marketing plan.
You’re also building a team to help your business break through, which brings with it a new learning curve as you develop your leadership skills. It’s key to move through the chaos stage without going too much into the red, so having a business coach (like myself) to help you navigate this stage, build the right skills, and adopt the best strategies for you will help you save time, money and a lot of stress. You don’t want to dwell here longer than needed!
If you've launched your business, but you're not yet enjoying a consistent and growing revenue. Or if you don't have clear processes to help you work smart and manage your costs, then you're in the chaos stage. It's important to recognise this so you can focus your time and investments in the right places. But getting through to the other side is extremely satisfying and you’ll learn so many great skills that will help you as you further develop and grow your business.
If you feel as though you're working hard and little is under control, it's a sign you're in the Chaos stage of business growth. Here's how to navigate this stage...
Stage 3: CONTROL
The third step is Control. At this point, your business is starting to generate some consistent cash flow and your operations are more organised and predictable. This enables you to start measuring what’s going on in your business and incentivise your team members to find and make adjustments to how you’re running the business.
With your business starting to stabilise, you can then move onto the fourth sage of business growth and continue expanding.
Stage 4: PROSPERITY
At the Prosperity stage, you can focus on economising your business. The aim is to gain maximum efficiency from your existing assets and structure, so you can further drive your profit margins and options for the future direction of your enterprise.
At the prosperity stage, you can start investing in more assets and higher quality team members to further fuel your growth. You can also further specialise in your area of expertise which allows the business to keep on growing.
Stage 5: FREEDOM
The freedom stage is a wonderful place where you choose what you want to do next. Do you want to sell your business and enjoy the fruits of your labour? Do you want to take a step back and leave much of the running of your business to your talented management team? Do you want to replicate what you’ve achieved by starting a new enterprise altogether?…the choice is entirely yours.
There is no right or wrong answer. Freedom is the goal of most business owners. It’s important to understand that achieving it is a process, and one that will often take you a LOT longer than you might at first realise.
Understanding the five stages of business growth (how to correctly assess the stage you are in, and move smoothly from one to the next), is the key to getting there in the shortest possible time – and with the most growth and fun along the way! If you ever wondered what a business coach does – it’s that! To guide you through the stages as quickly as possible by adopting the right strategies for you, at the right time; guiding your personal and professional growth; and steering you to balance, profit and freedom.
Navigating the 5 Steps to Business Growth
If you are looking for support to take your business forward through the 5 Steps to Freedom, book a complementary Business Strategy call with me. I’ll help you understand where you are today, and the best strategies for you to focus on now.
We'll also look at how you can get to your goal faster and with less stress or overwhelm and a whole lot more joy. I look forward to helping you achieve more business growth!