What Stage Is Your Business At?
Are you so busy watching the cash flow of your business that you have forgotten to look at anything else? Over time your business grows up, just as any person does, and it is important to know where you are and what to expect.
Start-up – Beginning your business, gathering your cash, finding your office space and establishing yourself. Many businesses don’t make it past this phase because income is tight and ideas might be hampered by lack of personnel and money.
Growth – Expansion, adding new products of services, hiring staff, penetration of the market place. This is an exciting time when you are making your presence known within your industry and focusing on growth. Your only limitation is likely to be cashflow or lack of capital to invest in new products.
Maturity – Your business is established, your profits are good and your bank account looks healthy. Instead of focusing on growth you are now focused on becoming the most efficient business you can be.
Decline – The aging has begun. You are older and perhaps less enthusiastic. Your products and services are being challenged by new technology or innovations in the marketplace. Your equipment is aging and it is becoming hard to recruit new staff because you no longer look competitive and promising.
Why bother working out your current stage? By knowing where you are, you can prepare for the opportunities and potential problems coming your way. For example, what happens when your business reaches maturity and you don’t want to let it take the ultimate next step and die?
As you start to feel comfortable and secure, and growth is no longer an issue, you have time to devote to reshaping your business future. You need to develop new products, services or some form of innovative delivery if you want to give your business new life. You are actually entering the growth stage once again.
You can use this cycle to your advantage but to do that you need to stop and work out where you are.
So, what stage is your business at and what is coming up next?